FCB sport unit lands new clients, expands

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Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide subsidiary 361 Sports & Event Marketing is broadening its market presence with three new clients, a new Chicago office and an agreement to align with Interpublic Group of Cos. sibling Rogers & Cowan Weber Shandwick.

The firm's new clients are Fuji USA, West Coast-based Mervyn's department stores and Carey Limousines. The sports specialist is helping each company ally itself with specific sporting events; it already handles sponsorships worth around $100 million for clients including Levi Strauss & Co., PowerBar and Merck & Co.

361 Sports & Event Marketing, based in both San Francisco and New York, employs 19 people and will add a third U.S. office in Chicago April 15. The company is expected to name a Chicago chief in the next few weeks.

Keith Bruce, senior VP-general manager, also said the company is "in the process of formalizing a strategic alliance with the Rogers & Cowan Weber Shandwick sports PR practice."

Previously the sports division offered any number of Interpublic PR agencies to clients but now its first recommendation will be Rogers & Cowan Weber Shandwick.

The alignment comes as Interpublic begins the task of dismantling Advanced Marketing Services, which houses Weber Shandwick Worldwide. Mr. Bruce said there could be additional benefits to come as a result of the changes at AMS. "There is an opportunity to strengthen our core offering," he said, though he wouldn't be specific about what that opportunity might be.

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