SBJ/May 14 - 20, 2007/This Weeks News

Radiate Group adds action sports firm ASA Events to stable

The Radiate Group, an Omnicom subsidiary, acquired the action sports group ASA Events two weeks ago, according to industry sources.

With the acquisition, the Charlotte-based marketing consultancy adds the group behind the LG Action Sports World Tour to its consortium of 24 marketing agencies.

Terms of the agreement were not available. Radiate Group President Steve Lauletta refused to offer specifics and instead described the deal as a partnership, saying, “The details of our arrangement are confidential.”

Radiate is a global network of marketing agencies that includes the sports groups GMR Marketing, SportsMark (sports events and hospitality) and Peter Jacobsen Productions (golf events). It’s part of the Diversified Agency Services arm of Omnicom Group.

By buying ASA, Radiate hopes to offer corporate clients an entry to action sports. Several clients have expressed interest in those sports, and it’s an area Radiate has been looking to become involved in for several years, Lauletta said.

Last year, ASA ran 220 events, including the LG World Tour and the World Championship of Freestyle Motocross, and also distributed more than 100 network TV programs on action sports. It has been looking to partner with a larger agency since last June.

“For us, ASA’s deep knowledge and tremendous connections in action sports was the impetus for joining forces with them,” Lauletta said. “We think there’s an opportunity to help them grow their events by bringing some of our experiential marketing expertise to help deliver assets that companies may not be getting in the sport now.”

ASA President Rick Bratman said, “This gives us a bigger seat at the table.”

ASA’s premier event, the LG Action Sports World Tour, had only a handful of corporate partners in 2006, including LG, GT Bicycles, Sharpie, Paul Mitchell and Nintendo, and Bratman believes joining Radiate could help the 12-event series add corporate partners.

The LG Action Sports World Tour is expected to announce its 2007 schedule in the coming weeks.

Last year, it visited 12 markets, including Richmond, Va., Dallas, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Berlin and Seoul. The championships, held in Dallas, aired on CBS last December as part of a time buy and netted a 1.2 Nielsen rating following an NFL football game lead-in.

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