London-Based BrandRapport Undergoes Management Buyout, Will Rebrand
London-based sponsorship agency brandRapport will be rebranded after undergoing a management buyout as it looks to offer a more comprehensive offering to clients. The revamp, which includes a new logo, was instigated by changes in the sponsorship landscape, with clients increasingly demanding to work with agencies which have skillsets beyond solely buying sponsorship properties and which have an int'l reach. BrandRapport CEO Andy Dwyer, Managing Dir Andy Kenny, Finance Dir Marie Still and Strategy Dir Rob Pope have orchestrated the buyout. Kenny said, “I think the days of a standalone agency are numbered. We need to widen our services. We need to act like a brand agency rather than a sponsorship agency. That means we need to have more research, planning and insight models. We need an enhanced digital and social media offering. We need to be set up and act like a brand agency and have those services for our clients.” Currently, brandRapport has a flagship London office, along with smaller offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.
LOOKING FOR PARTNERS: However, Kenny said brandRapport has struggled to compete against the big network agencies in pitches. Therefore, brandRapport is looking for int'l agency partners to bolster its proposition. Kenny: “We have come up in pitches where we know we need an international offering." Kenny will also announce new account wins for Jaguar and sports nutrition specialist CNP Nutrition this week, along with supplementary work for Clydesdale and Yorkshire bank and Samsung. Kenny: “We will now look at opportunities at partnerships with other agencies to give us a global presence.” BrandRapport, which has over 40 staff globally, was purchased by Ingenious Media Active Capital, the investment fund, in '07. However, the deal did not work out as planned, as Ingenious Media Active Capital was not as forthcoming as anticipated to build an int'l network because of the economic crisis of '08. Kenny said the new-look agency will be “flexible” and “nimble,” which will allow it to juggle standalone sponsorship deals and work with brands on community projects, short term projects, and other types of partnerships. Kenny flagged up sponsorship agency M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment as the blueprint for brandRapport to follow. BrandRapport’s key clients include German bank Allianz, which along with the Bayern Munich football team sponsors the Saracens rugby union club in the U.K. However, the agency recently suffered a setback when it lost Barclays as a client, which resulted in “a few people” leaving the business.
John Reynolds is a writer in London.