Havas Media, one of the world's leading media groups, has announced a further expansion of its Havas Sports & Entertainment operations with the acquisition of ignition, an award-winning, independent experiential marketing agency with offices in the USA, London and Moscow.
The acquisition forms part of Havas Sports & Entertainment's strategy to up-weight its global brand engagement offer, particularly in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
The ignition brand will join the Havas Sports & Entertainment and Cake Group agencies in delivering experiential campaigns in markets complementary to the network's existing local footprint, which now spans 34 offices in 20 markets. With ignition's headquarters and strongholds in Atlanta and New York, the move will significantly increase Havas Sports & Entertainment's capabilities in the US.
ignition's delivery of large-scale, event-led brand engagement campaigns and leadership in sustainable experiential marketing will also complement Havas Sports & Entertainment's current branded content, social media, sponsorship consulting, PR, brand experience and research offers.
Along with synergies in location and expertise, ignition also adds an attractive, long-retained client base with brands such as American Express, BP, Delta Air Lines, ESPN, Kia, United Nations Foundation, Victoria's Secret and The Coca-Cola Company (with whom it holds a prestigious 'global partner' status).
ignition will continue to be managed by Mike Hersom, current ignition president, alongside Cindy-Ann "CA" Hersom, CMO, and Dill and Susan Driscoll, the original founders. Hersom will report into Havas Sports & Entertainment's global president and CEO Lucien Boyer. "We are proud to welcome ignition to the Havas Sports & Entertainment network. Together we will achieve great things thanks to ignition's expertise and outstanding reputation for delivering sustainable consumer experiential events around the world," began Boyer.
"ignition will add tangible value to the Havas Sports & Entertainment and Cake Group agencies in our network, helping to reinforce our strong global offering at a very interesting time for brands in sports and entertainment. ignition's 15-year history of activating the Olympic Torch Relay, including for London 2012, and 14 years activating the Trophy Tour in relation to the FIFA World Cup for The Coca-Cola Company will also build on our involvement with these key clients and sports organisations."
Hersom adds: "Today the ignition brand goes truly global. With Havas Sports & Entertainment's infrastructure, insight and reach, coupled with our 15-year track record of leading complex international consumer campaigns, we are now poised to take our magic to scale for sustainable growth."
This move is part of Havas' acquisition strategy to both develop and expand core areas of expertise and to target entrepreneurial, innovative forward-looking agencies that use creativity and technology to develop better relationships between consumers, brands and their wider communities.
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