Corbis Entertainment Extends its Global Reach with Acquisition of Leading U.K. Sports Marketing Agency WSM Communications

May 19, 2014 – (New York, NY) – Corbis Entertainment, a division of Corbis, a Bill Gates company, today announced the acquisition of WSM Communications, a global-sports marketing and sponsorship agency headquartered in London. The announcement was made here today byGary Shenk, Chief Executive Officer, Corbis.

Over its 15-year history, WSM has helped brands like Unilever, MasterCard, British Airways and Aberdeen Asset Management enhance their business with integrated strategies in the world of sports – with an accent on sponsorship activation in golf, cricket, rugby, soccer, sailing and tennis. To complement its London home base, WSM has offices in the U.S. and is working on exciting projects in both regions.

“Sports are a natural extension of the comprehensive entertainment marketing solutions Corbis has pioneered for leading brands across the world, from product integration to celebrities to rights and music clearances,” said Shenk.

“Bringing WSM, its clients and leading sports events and access into our business is an exciting development,” begins Mark Owens, Executive Vice President, Corbis Entertainment. “Sports are a natural extension of what we already offer our clients,” adds Owens, “another high-profile form of entertainment populated with its own celebrities and A-list events. WSM’s long track record and unique depth in fast-growing worldwide sports like golf and soccer makes them a natural fit, with assets that we can leverage across all Corbis Entertainment Global Clients.

As a leading entertainment marketing group, Corbis Entertainment specializes in Brand
Integration, talent negotiations, music licensing, rights clearance and representation as well as the recently launched Branded Entertainment Network (BEN)

Branded Entertainment Network (BEN) delivers scale, efficiency and measurement science to the world of branded integration, solidifying Corbis Entertainment’s leadership position in the fast-growing, $8 billion-a-year global entertainment marketing and product placement marketplace.

“We’re delighted to be joining Corbis Entertainment,” adds Andrew White, Chief Executive Officer, WSM Communications. “Corbis gives our clients and people the opportunity to work on a broader global stage and helps us to grow our expanding global business. The opportunities around sport, sponsorship and BEN are a real game-changer for WSM and the sports marketing industry as a whole.”

White continues, “Being part of a Bill Gates company, another independent and privately-owned business, allows us to grow our offering for existing and new clients. I’ve committed my longterm future to Corbis and I’m very excited about this new challenge.”

About Corbis Entertainment: Corbis Entertainment connects global brands to consumers through the power of entertainment. Our core competencies include product integration, entertainment public relations, music licensing and partnerships, rights clearances and representation, talent seeding and negotiation.

About Corbis: Founded in 1989 by Bill Gates, Corbis® is a leading digital content and worldwide entertainment rights company. We empower agencies, brands, publishers, and other media producers to capture the attention of audiences worldwide by integrating premium and timely content into their communications. From exceptional creative, documentary, and breaking entertainment content, to product and media integration services, Corbis helps elevate projects, amplify brands, and captivate any audience.
About WSM Communications: WSM Communications is one of the world’s most successful independent sports and sponsorship marketing agency. WSM creates compelling brand strategies that change perceptions through sponsorship, PR, events and experiential marketing. Headquartered in the UK with offices in the US, Brazil and Qatar, WSM operates globally delivering consultancy and marketing solutions for brands in sport and sponsorship worldwide.