SBJ/June 18-24, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Richards Sports adds punch with Haymaker name

After seven years as Richards Sports & Entertainment, the sports and event marketing agency is changing its name to Haymaker, effective immediately.

The Dallas-based agency will remain a subsidiary of The Richards Group, but wanted a more independent identity that will allow it to work for clients aligned with other agency networks.

Agency principal Kern Egan said that The Richards Group’s ownership of the agency will not change, nor will his agency be working with clients conflicting with the parent company.

Noting the agency’s recent nomination for Best in Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Services at the SBJ/SBD Sports Business Awards, and the choice of client Bridgestone as Sponsor of the Year at the same event, “we just felt it was the right time for our own brand, so we can be hyperfocused on the partnership and property marketing space,” Egan said.

Without disclosing billings, Egan said the agency has grown from a single client when it opened seven years ago — with Hyundai a sponsor of AAA baseball — to 17 today, including Bridgestone, MetroPCS, Advance Auto Parts, H-E-B and Wawa. Staffing has gone from fewer than a handful to 20 today and the agency now has $500 million in sponsorships under management.

As for the new name itself?

“Some believe it’s a play on the old adage, ‘Make hay while the sun is shining.’ There are only so many opportunities to reap your reward, so make the most of those presented,” Egan explained. “Others say it comes from a punch’s wide, sweeping arc or the motion of a scythe in a hayfield. Haymaker is a powerful, game-changing blow — as long as it connects.”

The agency’s logo was designed by RBMM, the design practice of The Richards Group.

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