IMG, WPP to help clients with licensing deals
Global - IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion, and media group, is partnering with WPP to provide licensing services to clients from the marketing communications holding company.
As part of the multiyear pact, WPP and IMG will create a joint team and share resources. The new WPP venture is in addition to IMG Licensing's existing operations which will continue to operate unchanged.
"More than ever, licensing is emerging as one of the new creative ways of developing brands and sales," Martin Sorrell, WPP's CEO said. "It is a capability we see as increasingly important to our clients."
Executives from the WPP-IMG partnership will now be meeting with advertisers who have expressed interest in developing brand licensing programmes or who have potential to do so.
The new WPP venture is an additive unit to IMG Licensing's existing operations and the latter will continue to serve existing and new clients without change.
"This is a really natural collaboration that was waiting to happen," George Pyne, president of IMG's Sports and Entertainment Group, said.
"WPP's agencies have an impressive roster of clients coupled with the brand knowledge and consumer insights that come from years of experience working with them. We believe that our global execution capability and specialised expertise in the licensing business coupled with their deep-rooted knowledge and relationships with certain client companies can yield some very beneficial and successful partnerships."
Sorrell's career began at a predecessor company to IMG.
After getting his MBA from Harvard, in 1975 Sorrell went to work with Mark McCormack, the founder of the current entity, originally known as International Management Group.
McCormack died in 2003, and the company is now owned by Forstmann Little.
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