In a span of over six years, the New York-based agency has launched Derek Jeter’s The Players Tribune and worked with DKNY, Blooming’ Brands and Federal-Mogul Motorparts, among others. This “new breed of advertising agency” sees London and the UK as a strong opportunity to expand their offering.
“London is such a vibrant, creative market [and] we’ve made a priority,” said John Sampogna, co-chief executive and founding partner at Wondersauce. “Although it’s vastly different from the US market, the response we’ve seen stateside and the growth we’ve generated for our clients signal there is pent-up demand for a more nimble and progressive advertising agency that can balance a diverse mix of marketing and technology.”
Leading the efforts in this new London office is business development and brand strategy lead Digby Baer. “It’s a homecoming of sorts for him,” said Sampogna of the UK native. “I think it’s unique for him to spend two-plus years in the New York office, then move back and carry the Wondersauce culture with him. He’s been very pleasantly surprised to the response [from clients] so far, and also taking his knowledge in e-commerce from the States and applying it to fashion, technology, and hospitality brands in the UK.”
Digby is an example of the agency’s “grow from within” approach. Where agencies sometimes determine where to expand based solely on market research, Wondersauce adds a cultural element to their decision, leaning on existing team members to incubate the business. This sort of model was employed to establish its Los Angeles and Columbus offices.
Founded in 2011 by Sampogna and Eric Mayville at age 27, their small agency has now grown into a staff of 100 across four offices, and they’re looking to add key roles to their London staff as well as add in members from the New York office to oversee creative development.
Additionally, the execs take a more progressive approach to sustainable growth, not trying to be everything to everyone at the onset — and the same will occur with the opening of the new London office.
“We’re full-service, but that doesn’t mean we have to start with a full-service offering on day one in any new office,” co-chief executive Mayville adds. “Practicality and prudence demand we build each office step by step, just like we’ve done with New York, Columbus and Los Angeles. It’s a process, and as we prove what we’re capable of, we do more and more.”