Interpublic's sports marketing groups merge

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LONDON -- U.K. sports marketing group Orbit International, part of the Lowe Group, is to merge with Advantage U.K. from next month. Advantage International is part of the newly formed sports marketing arm of the Interpublic Group of Companies, of which the Lowe Group is a member.

Frank Lowe, chairman of the Lowe Group, says the move will strengthen both companies in the U.K. as well as providing Orbit with global exposure.

Ian Wight, chairman of Orbit International, will join the board of Advantage U.K. "Fortunately there are no client conflicts in the U.K., so I believe this is genuinely a situation where two and two do make five," he says. "Advantage's expertise in sponsorship sales and athlete management, combined with its position as the world's largest sponsorship consultancy, will bring a breadth of experience which is of real value to Orbit's clients."

Mike Burton, European managing director of Advantage International, adds: "The synergy is excellent."

Advantage International's clients include MasterCard, IBM, Credit Suisse and UPS and its athlete management division handles tennis players Steffi Graf and Michael Chang and England rugby star Ben Clarke, among others. Orbit International's client list includes British Airways, NatWest U.K. and Whitbread.

Copyright September 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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