Havas integrates dedicated sports and entertainment arm as Avery departs
By Simon Ward
Havas Group, the international advertising giant, has integrated its brand engagement network Havas Sports & Entertainment into the wider business in a move that has resulted in the departure of the unit’s chief executive Pedro Avery.
Paris-based Havas said on Tuesday that, in the latest development in its ‘Together’ strategy aimed at greater integration, the HS&E offer, which involves experts in the sports, music and entertainment fields, will “be placed at the core of all Havas Group’s client teams.”
These operate from 46 ‘Havas Villages’ located around the world.
The company said the move came at the end of a year-long integration strategy at HS&E, overseen by Avery (pictured), “who will move on to new projects outside the Havas Group.”
Havas has stressed that the change does not reflect a reduction in business in the sports sphere worldwide.
Nor will it impact on HSE Cake, the dedicated UK sports and entertainment agency, whose senior management team of chief executive Adrian Pettet, managing director Jim Dowling and chief operating officer Joanne Warnes remains in place.
Avery became chief executive of HS&E at the start of last year, succeeding Lucien Boyer after the latter departed to become chief marketing officer of Vivendi Village, a division of the French media giant.
Boyer’s move was unexpected, given that it came less than two years after he had relocated from Paris to London to lead HS&E from its “new global hub.”
Avery had previously held the roles of group managing director of Havas Media Group UK and chief executive of Arena, the media planning and buying agency that is a Havas subsidiary.
In a statement, Havas chief executive Yannick Bolloré said: “My thanks go out to Pedro for his successful management of this transition. It is thanks to his energy and passion that we are able to offer such an incredible expertise.
“Havas Sports & Entertainment is made up of the best experts who truly understand what makes a fan a fan and what drives their engagement. Integrating this talent at the heart of all our Havas Villages means all our agencies will be able to deliver solutions and vision for our clients that build emotional relationships between brands, fans and communities based on today’s popular culture.”
HSE Cake saw profits increase by £1 million ($1.21 million) in 2016 and picked up several new clients, in the shape of the BBC, Barclaycard and the NBA.
Pettet believes the integration strategy can be beneficial for the UK agency, telling Event Magazine: “I hope the changes will provide opportunities in the same way that I have already seen from Cake being integrated into Havas SE in 2015. We are part of a global family but we have UK clients and the changes do not get in the way of what we are doing.
"In 2017, we want to sustain growth, win awards and new clients. We have been able to take a creative approach to sports and entertainment and that gives us an opportunity to be ambitious and to set the bar high."
HS&E clients in France include Chronopost, the international delivery service that is a subsidiary of La Poste, the French postal service company, in the activation of its sponsorship of top Ligue 1 soccer club Paris Saint-Germain.