LOS ANGELES: Interpublic Group (IPG) has formed a new unit that combines some of its sports marketing and entertainment companies under one banner.
The division is dubbed the Interpublic Sports and Entertainment Unit, and includes celebrity PR specialists PMK/HBH and Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, global sports marketing agency Octagon, and boutique marketing communications firm Amster Yard.
Mark Dowley, previously vice chairman at the McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, heads the new division, reporting to IPG chairman and CEO John Dooner, and working with Larry Weber, chairman and CEO of IPG's Advanced Marketing Services group.
Pat Kingsley and Michael Nyman, heads of PMK/HBH and Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, respectively, will each also take on the title of vice chairman of the new unit.
As the trend to use entertainment channels for brand marketing continues to grow, companies are looking for better ways to leverage their existing Hollywood and sports relationships for their broader client base, and integrate their clients into entertainment content at much earlier stages of development.
Last month, for example, IPG's Rogers & Cowan teamed with parent Weber Shandwick Worldwide's destination travel division for a new venture aimed at promoting clients through entertainment outlets. That partnership was able to quickly help the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism score a placement on the popular Fox prime-time sitcom Grounded For Life.
Advertising and PR firms are also facing increasing pressure from talent agencies, which have taken up the marketing business in recent years. Talent broker Creative Artists Agency, for example, works with clients such as Coca-Cola and Kmart, while both Endeavor and William Morris Agency have marketing departments for major corporate clients.