rEvolution buys London-based Revolution Sports Marketing Group

The deal gives the U.S. firm access to accounts like SAS, Land Rover, and the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018.


CHICAGO: Sports marketing agency rEvolution has bought London-based Revolution Sports Marketing Group, rEvolution said this week.

John Rowady, president and founder of rEvolution, declined to discuss how much he paid for the firm or how the deal might affect staffing. Revolution employees have become rEvolution staffers and have kept their roles and client relationships, according to a statement.
The deal is effective immediately.

"This deal took a little bit over a year, once we were fully engaged," said Rowady. "There’s quite a few things that have to occur in terms of foreign ownership and also quite a few as relates to understanding and aligning with what our strategies are, do we have shared vision and values, and to ensure there’s a comfort level."

Rowady started rEvolution in 2001. It is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Connecticut, Denver, Indianapolis, Southern California, and Minneapolis.
Revolution Sports Marketing was cofounded in 2003 by Haydon and Rod Kohler. Kohler died this year after battling pancreatic cancer.

Rowady described the London shop as focused primarily on the comms sector while his firm has a more rounded suite of services. Although rEvolution works internationally, he said, the deal will solidify the firm’s presence in Europe.

"We have to have boots on the ground legitimately to be international," he said. "You can’t fake being a global leader."

Rowady added that the combination also gives potential European clients an entrance into the U.S. market.

"The other thing is we wanted to create a bridge back to the U.S. and to North America," he said. "We’ve been doing business internationally for some time but as more sports covet the U.S. marketplace and see how diverse the fan base is in the U.S., they see it’s fairly advanced and fairly imposing."

Rowady said the firm is working on other deals.

Revolution Sports Marketing cofounder Merrick Haydon could not immediately be reached for comment.

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