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SBJ/March 21-27, 2011/Forty Under 40
Forty Under 40
Published March 21, 2011, Page 32A
AMBER DE VOS
GroupM ESP is part of the WPP media agencies, including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom and Mindshare, which combine to control $7 billion of media spent on U.S. sports properties. That’s scale. Accordingly, GroupM ESP has had a hand in some intriguing deals recently, like Discover’s NHL rights, Unilever’s NCAA sponsorship and an unusual business-to-business arrangement that saw Xerox become a five-year sponsor of the U.S. Open starting this year.
It has also had a hand in perhaps the most talked-about deal of the year: Farmers Insurance’s pre-emptive naming-rights agreement for a proposed stadium in downtown Los Angeles, which is at least five years from opening and has no blueprints, no municipal approvals and no NFL team.
“We thought it would be a game-changer that lifted Farmers into the consideration set with every big insurance brand, all of which have a presence in sports,” Luckman said. “That’s already been accomplished.”
Added Farmers CMO Kevin Kelso, “Greg has a broad knowledge of the sponsorship and event marketing field. … He also has a huge network of contacts he can access to gain perspective. In working through the Farmers Field deal with AEG, I was fortunate to be able to rely on his experience with other naming-rights agreements and his knowledge to ensure we had a good evaluation of the opportunity and that Farmers’ business issues were properly addressed.”
Luckman cut his marketing teeth working with American Express and Tiger Woods for Momentum over 10 years and was recruited to start GroupM ESP four years ago. Since then, it has grown from 15 to 50 people and 30 clients; it now manages $1.5 billion in sponsorships and has quadrupled in revenue since it launched.
Harlan Stone, U.S. Tennis Association chief business and marketing officer, worked with Luckman at Momentum, and more recently on Xerox’s deal with the U.S. Open.
“Aside from being a savvy marketer, Greg does a first-class job of attracting and keeping talented people,” Stone said. “It’s a skill I’ve seen him maintain for more than a decade. Quite simply, he’s a pro and one of the best young talents in the business today.”
Title: CEO, North America
COMPANY: GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships
Education: B.A., psychology, Tulane University, 1996
Family: Wife, Beth; daughters, Charley (4) and Casey (12 weeks)
Career: Started career with Melbourne (Australia) Reds baseball team; managing director of Momentum New York (joined company in 1997 as account executive on AmEx); hired by WPP to create GroupM ESP in 2007
Last vacation: Palm Beach, Fla., in fall 2010
|What's on your iPod: New Orleans funk from
my Tulane days
Guilty pleasure: Style maintenance
Best stress release: When the contract is signed … by both parties
Pet peeve: Haters
Greatest achievement: The Luckman Ladies
Greatest disappointment: Still haven’t
made a hole-in-one
Fantasy job: Director, Brant Lake Camp (owned/operated by three generations of my family)
Business advice: Exercise; it clears the mind
for big ideas.