LONDON—Edelman has formed a strategic alliance with VERO, a specialist sports brand and communications consultancy, to offer combined expertise to existing and potential clients of both firms. As part of the agreement, VERO, whose CEO Mike Lee played a key role in London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, will become an affiliate of Edelman.
According to Edelman’s European chief executive David Brain, the move reflects an increasing corporate interest in sport, particularly in the U.K. ahead of the London 2012 games. Edelman’s global sports and sponsorship marketing practice worked with seven clients during the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino and its U.K. consumer arm, JCPR, has managed a number of major sports campaigns, including O2’s England rugby sponsorship and the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium.
Sport sponsorship investment in the U.K. alone is estimated at more than £1 billion annually and Brain says the preparations for London 2012 and the imminent opening of the new Wembley Stadium “mean that the U.K. is growing in importance as a hub for the £125 billion global sports industry, and we are perfectly placed to advise clients on the opportunities that this creates.”
Adds Lee: “Edelman’s international network, broad-based expertise and rapidly-growing roster of sports and entertainment clients mean that it is the ideal partner for us. Together, we will offer something special to the growing range of businesses that want to engage with sport to enhance their brand, with sports bodies that want to achieve new goals and to cities bidding for major international events. In addition, the campaigning approach of the agencies will provide new opportunities in other sectors.”