WPP is boosting its sports and content credentials by leading a $250 million investment in Bruin Sports Capital, a new sports marketing agency founded by former IMG president George Pyne, the companies said today.
Mr. Pyne left his role as president of IMG Wordwide's global sports and entertainment business in August last year (shortly after writing this column for Ad Age) to set up on his own. He is officially opening Bruin Sports Capital with the investment from WPP and other, undisclosed backers.
WPP will have a preferred partnership arrangement with Bruin Sports Capital, which hopes to build its portfolio organically as well as through acquisitions and investments, the companies said.
"WPP's investment in sports and sports content through Bruin Sports Capital is an important part of its strategy," WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said in a statement. "George is a major talent in the sports business world and based on his track record, I'm confident that the clients who work with WPP's operating companies will be given access to many high-value media and sponsorship opportunities."
There is a "growing interest" among WPP clients "to invest in content and sport," he added.