WMG Makes Play For Canadian Golf Industry With Acquisition Of Catalyst Consulting
Wasserman Media Group "has expanded both its consulting business and its Canadian presence with the acquisition of Catalyst Sponsorship Consulting, a Toronto firm with golf expertise and relationships with large Canadian companies," according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Catalyst is an "18-person firm started by former Bell Canada sponsorship director Steve Marshman" in '05. WMG Managing Dir Malcolm Turner said, “He knows how to use golf as a marketing platform as well as anyone, and his relationships in Canada are deep.” Marshman will now report to Turner. WMG Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman "noted that his firm had worked with Marshman for a few years and therefore knew it could be a successful acquisition." Wasserman said, “Mergers and acquisitions fail much more often because of people and silos than they do because of financial reasons. This fits culturally and geographically” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/10 issue). SCOREGOLF.com's Rick Young wrote in "standard business terms, this is a huge power play." While the news "might not resonate with the general golfing populace I can assure you this late season development is a significant one for the Canadian golf industry and beyond." Among the most notable corporate clients for Catalyst are "Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), CN Rail, Manulife Financial and Bell." In '07, Catalyst "advised RBC on the bank’s first foray into golf and helped develop its global golf sponsorship portfolio and brand ambassador program." The agency "most recently executed RBC’s programming" as the official bank of the PGA of America at the '12 Ryder Cup and '12 PGA Championship (SCOREGOLF.com, 12/10).