Brands look for sports PR expertise in the run-up to London 2012 Olympics

Brands are increasingly demanding sports expertise from their PR agencies as the London 2012 Olympics draw closer.

London 2012: firms looking to capitalise on Olympics
London 2012: firms looking to capitalise on Olympics

Consumer agency Pretty Green has poached Edelman’s head of sport in response to the growing desire to tap into London 2012.

Lucy Mart currently heads the sports division at Edelman, where she leads teams for several high-profile clients including the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOGOG), Manchester City FC and Sportingbet. She is working with Covent Garden to develop its London 2012 sponsorship programme.

Pretty Green founder and MD Mark Stringer said the appointment had been prompted by demand from clients wanting to capitalise on the London Olympics.

‘London 2012 has added another dynamic into the mix,’ said Stringer. ‘Brands that aren’t sports brands, and don’t have a platform in sport, want to know that the agency is equipped for London 2012 and understands sport.

‘We’ve had to build a strong sports team that understands the nuances of sport, governing bodies, leveraging sponsorships and traditional sporting media, but can also service traditional clients.’

Mart, who was previously at Four Communications, will join Pretty Green as head of sport in November.

Stringer said sports PR had become one of the agency’s core offerings for clients such as Red Bull, Sony Ericsson, Under Armour and Paddy Power. He added that other brands, such as Cadbury, were also setting greater stall on sports PR.

PHA Media, the agency set up by former News of the World editor Phil Hall, has experienced the same demand from clients. Associate director and head of sport Stuart Skinner agreed that there was a trend of brands and individuals wanting to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ of London 2012. But he warned: ‘For a brand not traditionally associated with sport, it can sometimes look like a false marriage.’

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