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Volume 25 No. 27

Labor and Agents

GMR Marketing has opened a Tokyo office to handle business related to the '19 Rugby World Cup and the '20 Tokyo Games. To lead the office, the agency has hired Satoshi Saito as Dir of Sponsorship Planning & Activation. Saito was previously Japan Football Association Deputy Marketing Dir, where he was in charge of international match operations. Before that, Saito worked Asian Football Confederation Marketing Dir out of Malaysia. GMR Head of Global Sports/Entertainment Consulting Adam Lippard called Saito a “perfect hire” because of his rare combination of local expertise and global marketing experience. The Japanese market will be complex for GMR, because of Dentsu’s dominating presence and the fact that two key hospitality service providers, KNT and JTB, are also '20 Tokyo sponsors. “I’ve got to find someone who can just as easily speak to the Visas and P&Gs of the world as they can the [Tokyo 2020] partners, and it’s not easy to find that fluent English, global sensibility,” Lippard said. The GMR Tokyo office will eventually staff up to about 20 people as planning for the Rugby and Olympics events peaks.