The Romans said the launch of its sports and entertainment division comes after a string of account wins and campaign launches in the two sectors; including Clothsurgeon's sportswear capsule collection for Sports Direct, WWE and BULK.
The new division will be led by Charlie Brown, who joins the agency from Pitch Marketing Group, and Joe Burdon, a senior account director at The Romans.
Brown and Burdon have been appointed joint heads of sport and entertainment with immediate effect. They will report to Lucy McGettigan, a director at the agency.
Brown has been a media planner for UKTV and also worked in sports marketing for ITV before joining Manchester United, where he led on the club’s marketing partnerships.
During his time with the football club, Brown worked with its global partners, including Chivas Regal, Apollo Tyres and Swissquote.
At Pitch, Brown led integrated sports marketing campaigns including Hyundai’s partnership with Chelsea FC and TAG Heuer’s sponsorship with the English Premier League.
He said: “Despite coming from a pure sports industry background, The Romans is the one PR agency that everyone knows. This new role presents a huge opportunity to marry the best of sports and entertainment expertise with an agency that has a clear USP and focus on innovation and creativity.”
Burdon joined The Romans in 2018 and has led award-winning campaigns across content, social media, PR and experiential.
He joined the agency from Mischief, where he worked for nearly six years.
Burdon’s experience includes work with The Football Association, for the FA Cup, the launch of St George’s Park National Football Centre, and Women’s Football.
He has also worked with Southampton FC and on Budweiser’s sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup.
Burdon said: “We’ve been on a back-to-back streak when it comes to picking up clients within the sector. As the world begins to open up again properly, there’s no better time for us to capitalise in helping fans and brands get more from sports and entertainment properties.”
McGettigan has more than a decade of sports marketing expertise and has worked on global sponsorships for the Barclays Premier League and the Mastercard Champions League, as well as with sports bodies including the England and Wales Cricket Board.
She began her career at Lexis PR and then moved to Frank PR, where she became an associate director, before joining The Romans four years ago.
McGettigan said: “Sports comms have a huge tendency to be generic and formulaic. We see a huge opportunity for a creative-first earned media approach to delivering the most talked-about campaigns around. Joe and Charlie are the perfect people to drive our offering forward.”
The agency is leading the charge at next month’s PRWeek Awards, with nominations in 12 categories, including its campaign working with Muslim athletes during Ramadan.