GroupM has launched a full-service sponsorship and sports rights division, SponsorCom, with the aim of helping Australian sporting bodies’ better monetise the full value of their assets.
SponsorCom will operate across all four GroupM media agencies with the remit of improving the revenue, profile and financial stability of sporting bodies in Australia by identifying or monetising existing and creating new assets.
Its services will include broadcast rights negotiations; media rights (ancillary digital platform rights); major sponsorship strategy; contract evaluation; supporting sponsorship sales; licensing and merchandise management; talent management; and a consultancy service.
Rob Smith will lead SponsorCom as Head of Australian Operations, bringing with him more than 10 years’ experience in the sports marketing and entertainment industry.
Most recently, Smith worked for Sports & Entertainment Ltd (SEL) across a number of businesses, with responsibilities spanning commercial rights sales, business development, client management and legal affairs. Prior to SEL, he spent two years managing all aspects of Australian Rugby Union’s professional player environments.
“The business of sport is expanding rapidly, but not all codes or stakeholders are keeping pace with the changing influences and drivers of the industry – or, importantly, monetising the full value of their assets,” GroupM Chairman & CEO John Steedman said.
“SponsorCom will help Australian sporting bodies navigate the often complex world of sponsorship, media rights and related areas through an intelligent advisory service. With his immense experience and considerable commercial acumen, Rob is the perfect person to steer the launch of this new service.”
Rob Smith added: “I am excited to be joining GroupM and heading up SponsorCom, which I believe will deliver an unparalleled offering for sports right holders, individual sports people, traditional and new media broadcasters and, most importantly, brands. SponsorCom will sit at the point where all these parties intersect, providing a unique and exciting platform from which to create value for everyone.”
SponsorCom is launching with Football Federation Australia (FFA) as marquee partner, for the sole purpose of major sponsorship sales to GroupM Australia clients.
"The partnership between FFA and SponsorCom is an exciting opportunity for football to continue to grow in the competitive sporting landscape. We’ve worked with GroupM previously and are excited to be the inaugural partner of the SponsorCom business. As the world gets smaller, football gets bigger and this partnership will continue to connect the world game with the corporate community." FFA CEO David Gallop said.
FFA is the governing body for the sport of football in Australia, overseeing the Australian national teams, the Olympic teams and other various youth teams; national coaching programmes; coordination with the various state and territory governing bodies; and the national club competition.
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GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including MAXUS, Mediacom, MEC and Mindshare. Our primary purpose is to maximise the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our shareholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. The agencies that comprise GroupM are all global operations in their own right with leading market positions. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of physical and intellectual scale to benefit trading, innovation, and new communication services, to bring competitive advantage to our clients and our companies.