SBJ/April 11-17, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Team Epic adds packaged goods expertise with acquisition of Cincinnati’s Riber

Aegis Group’s Team Epic sports and entertainment agency group is acquiring Riber Sports Marketing Group, a boutique Cincinnati firm renowned for its work across a variety of Procter & Gamble health and beauty brands.

Team Epic Principal Mike Reisman said Riber’s expertise in sports marketing consulting, management and sales promotion made it a natural fit. Riber’s packaged goods marketing and in-store marketing are also areas in which Team Epic has been looking to add capabilities.

“I’ve known the principals at Riber for years, so there’s a huge comfort level,” Reisman said. “We already have a pretty strong [consumer packaged goods] practice with Gillette, ConAgra and Mars, but you can’t have a stronger pedigree in [consumer packaged goods] than P&G.”

Riber’s Cincinnati office adds to a growing Midwestern presence for Team Epic, which has quietly opened a Chicago office to service clients including ConAgra and Pepsi.

“Selling a family-owned business is something you only get to do once, but this is with the right people and it’s at the right time,” said Sam Riber, who will remain president of firm, but also becomes a senior vice president within Team Epic. “If you look at our size, especially relative to agencies we compete with, we just felt it was the right time for us to add resources. And we feel like we’re teaming with a group that shares our values and marketing approach.” Riber said that conversations on this deal began 18 months ago but that there had also been discussions about a merger more than two years ago.

Riber has six full-time employees and revenue of about $1.5 million, while Team Epic had 160 employees and revenue of $31.4 million in 2010. Riber’s P&G brand client duties include activation of Prilosec’s NFL and NASCAR sponsorships, Head & Shoulders’ MLB and NFL ties, Vicks’ NFL and U.S. Olympic Committee deals, and NFL work for Old Spice. Other Riber clients include Stanley Black & Decker’s DeWalt power tool brand and Pfizer.

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