Advertising giant WPP has taken a majority stake in sports marketing agency Two Circles, operating as a standalone business within ESP Properties, a newly launched GroupM division specialising in serving sports and entertainment rightsholders.
ESP Properties will sit alongside ESP Brands to expand GroupM’s support for brands to plan, negotiate and activate entertainment partnerships.
Commenting on the launch of ESP Sir Martin Sorrell said: "There is significant and growing demand on the part of clients to invest more in content and sports but few in our industry have had a serious response to this. Our new ESP Properties will bring creative power and commercial insight to rightsholders for the first time, providing unmatched opportunities to better tailor their offerings to the needs of today's brand sponsors.
“ESP will also work hand in hand with our recent investment in Bruin Sports to provide our clients with access to many high-value media and sponsorship opportunities."
Two Circles was formed in 2011, specialising in a data driven approach to sports marketing in Europe, employing 55 people in 10 markets serving clients including the England and Wales Cricket Board, Valencia CF, Liverpool FC, Lawn Tennis Association.
Two Circles recorded revenues for the year ended August 2014 of £2.7m with gross assets of £1m and will continue to be led by CEO Matt Rogan and managing director Gareth Balch.