Catalyst: PRWeek Global Agency Business Report 2016

While PR is still a core competency for Catalyst, being part of WME|IMG's global partnerships group has significantly broadened its capabilities.

Ted Fragulis, SVP, Catalyst
Ted Fragulis, SVP, Catalyst

Principals: Ted Fragulis, SVP; Rob Bronfeld, SVP; and Joe Flores, SVP
Ownership: WME|IMG
Offices: U.S.: 5; Global: London
Revenue: Global: $13.1 million U.S.: $12.6 million

Note: Revenue figures for 2014 were restated after an internal audit.

Catalyst cofounder and former MD Bret Werner left the agency last December to join MWWPR as chief client officer and EVP. Leading Catalyst now are SVPs Ted Fragulis, Rob Bronfeld, and Joe Flores.

While PR is still a core competency for Catalyst, being part of WME|IMG’s global partnerships group has significantly broadened capabilities. The group consists of about 180 brand marketers with expertise spanning sponsorship consultation, digital, social media, content, strategy, research and insights, and creative.

WME’s May 2014 acquisition of IMG also provided access to vast networks and insights across industries including film, TV, theater, literature, and music. 

"The combination puts us at the center of everything in culture," says SVP Ted Fragulis. "With our access to all these different properties, personalities, and content, we know what’s coming next and use that knowledge to deliver integrated consumer brand engagement programs that reach the right audience with the right messages at the right time." 

Global revenue was up 25% from $10.5 million to $13.1 million. New client wins represent 60% of the gain. Catalyst won work from YMCA, Georgia-Pacific, Prudential, Paramount, Ubisoft and Facebook. Pitch opportunities for the first three came through ad agency Droga5. WME|IMG owns 49% of Droga5.

After a competitive pitch, work with Visa expanded from global sponsorship portfolio management to include PR for a variety of business groups. Scope of work expanded with many existing clients including Marriott International, Courtyard, NRG, and Nestlé Purina. Project work won last year with Facebook was completed, and the agency lost Purity Vodka and Vibram.

Multiple channels
"We work across multiple channels of influence," Fragulis adds. "WME|IMG represents hundreds of top content creators and social media influencers, and that gives us the opportunity to engage them in close collaboration with our clients. Depending on the program, influencer engagement can be more impactful than coverage in a major newspaper, but that’s not to say traditional media relations isn’t still important."

WME|IMG also has a branded content team that produces original work, as well as paid media specialists. 

"Every program we develop is driven by research and insights," Fragulis adds. "We have a global insights group that constantly feeds our teams and clients with information on the consumer, media, brands, and the marketplace. This intelligence will become even more critical as the PR discipline continues to evolve and expand."

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