Band and Brown Group has launched Playmaker, a specialist sports sponsorship agency with an estimated first year income of pounds 400,000.
The creation of Playmaker follows B&B's acquisition of Larkspur for a cash sum approaching pounds 2 million during the summer (PR Week, 30 June).
Playmarker is jointly managed by former B&B director Rowan Andrews and David Piper who headed the sponsorship team at Larkspur. Playmaker has a staff of five.
It launches with two existing clients - the football sponsorship interests of Nationwide Building Society won recently by B&B (PR Week, 15 Sept) and long term Larkspur client One 2 One.
Playmaker's stated aim is to build its clients' brands with the goal of gaining news as well as sports coverage. The agency will attempt to reach a much broader audience than that traditionally targeted by sports sponsorship agencies.
'When Band and Brown bought Larkspur, we thought it was a great opportunity to combine my skills on the PR side with those of David Piper, who is a skilled sponsorship manager and events organiser,' said Andrews.
The pair will also take responsibility for research and evaluation at Playmaker. 'We will need to put a lot of time into research, because the field is growing so fast. The same applies to attracting new business,' he added.
Playmaker plans to buy in specialist e-marketing and media relations services from another B&B company, iJack Communications.
This company was set up last year to develop the group's online offering.
Andrews has been with B&B for three years as a group account director, heading a consumer PR team within the company. Barclaycard, AXA, and the BBC programme Get Your Kit On are among his former clients.