Edelman's sports and lifestyle agency United Entertainment Group breaks into APAC

Edelman's sports and lifestyle agency United Entertainment Group breaks into APAC

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Edelman-owned global entertainment, sports and lifestyle agency, United Entertainment Group (UEG), has launched in Asia Pacific. Its operations will be based in Sydney, which will serve as a hub for the region, and Si Philby (pictured) has been named executive vice president. He reports to UEG’s founder and CEO, Jarrod Moses, while partnering with Edelman APAC’s vice chair Michelle Hutton, in rolling out its services to clients.

UEG was formed in 2007 and acquired by Edelman in 2015. The agency’s offerings include guiding brands – such as Samsung, ASICS, The North Face, and Starbucks – through innovative talent and influencer partnerships, impactful brand storytelling and experience, rights and partnerships.

UEG's expansion into Asia Pacific reflects increasing global demand for its services in the region, the agency said. Moses added that as an agency whose mission is to deliver the best-in-class global entertainment and cultural connectivity, it was crucial that the company have experienced leadership in APAC, where the intersection of entertainment and culture are at the crux of brand partnerships and strategies.

“Our region is the most diverse and culturally rich in the world, it’s where many trends and movements are born and with UEG’s launch in APAC, we will be at the forefront of helping clients find new and different ways to connect and engage with people,” Hutton said.

As executive VP, Philby brings over two decades of global creative experience to this role. He co-founded and launched two independent agencies – the most recent being the Background Creative Counsel, a global network of diverse experts who participate in culture and offer creative counsel to future-minded brands and leaders. Background Creative will be integrated into UEG’s operation, providing clients with access to the network of creators, athletes, futurists, philanthropists in the areas of music, entertainment and fashion that the agency offers.

“UEG is a phenomenal business that resonates with my own values on how brands show up in culture. Having collaborated with Edelman’s brand teams on special projects over the last 10+ years, there’s already an established level of trust and partnership that we are now building on. We are collaborating with the best talent and smart clients to develop innovative ideas that are different from the norm,” said Philby.

The agency has also been involved with activations for sporting and entertainment events including the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup, the Formula 1 World Championship, the Grammys and the Golden Globes, and several other global film, television and digital content releases.

In 2021, UEG helped BMW continue their long-standing partnership with Art Basel by conceptualising and producing the official world premiere of the BMW Concept XM. The car’s official introduction highlighted the vehicle’s progressive and cutting-edge front-end design to media and other tastemakers, augmented by art specially created by Kennedy Yanko for the event, and a special musical performance by Hip Hop artist, NAS. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Edelman for additional information.

Separately, Edelman recently brought in former Intel marketing director Jamshed Wadia as vice chair of digital in APAC, overseeing the firm’s growing digital practice and Edelman Studios operations in the region. Last October, the agency also made a series of senior appointments across its APAC office last October, to strengthen its digital capabilities in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Edelman also announced earlier this year that it would no longer be partnering agencies who do not meet its climate operating principles, following a review of more than 330 clients and a deep dive on 20 emissions-intensive clients. This announcement followed the launch of Edelman Impact last November, a global practice intended to harness expertise across Edelman’s existing ESG, Purpose and Sustainability offerings.

Related articles:
Edelman brings on board Intel marketing veteran to grow APAC digital practice
Edelman to 'part ways' with clients that do not meet new climate standards
Edelman makes senior hires across APAC to strengthen digital capabilities

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