SBD/January 7, 2013/Finance

PR Firm Catalyst Purchased By IMG; Will Retain Management Team, Keep Offices Open

IMG has acquired N.Y.-based Catalyst Public Relations, “adding domestic client PR capabilities for the first time, along with social, digital and content development expertise,” according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Catalyst will “keep its name and offices in the Empire State Building for now, although further integration with IMG’s corporate consulting group is expected eventually.” Catalyst also will keep its L.A. and Charlotte offices, and Catalyst Managing Partner Bret Werner will become Senior VP/Managing Dir and report to IMG Senior VP & Global Managing Dir of Consulting David Abrutyn. In addition to Werner, Catalyst Managing Partners Bill Holtz and Ted Fragulis “will continue in their roles, only now under IMG ownership.” Abrutyn said, “We feel that this acquisition makes us the only full-service sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing agency, and for Catalyst we see tons of opportunity for them to plug into our overseas business.” Werner said Catalyst’s ’12 revenue was in the “$10 million range.” He said the company's digital and social revenue increased 140% in '12, with that business "moving close to" 50 percent of Catalyst’s revenue. Werner: “People have approached us before about an acquisition, but the power of the IMG brand, the resources IMG can supply, the cultural fit and the ability they give us to scale globally made them the right choice” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/7 issue).
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