Two Circles says more clients on the way as LA office opens
Two Circles, the UK-based data-driven agency owned by GroupM, the international media investment arm of advertising giant WPP, today officially opened its new Los Angeles office.
The office becomes the agency’s second permanent presence in North America, joining that in New York, and is intended to drive its expansion in the market in the coming years.
The North American business is headed up by Sam Yardley, senior vice-president consulting at Two Circles, and its clients in the region include the NFL, MLS and its new franchise FC Cincinnati, the National Lacrosse League and the NHL’s New York Islanders, "with several new client announcements to be made in the first quarter of 2019," according to the agency.
The plans for the Los Angeles office emerged last summer, as GroupM looked to refocus its rights-holder-facing sports marketing business on Two Circles following the sale of IEG, the US sponsorship valuation and measurement specialist, and the US brand consultancy of ESP Properties, to Engine Shop, the sports, entertainment and marketing agency.
Yardley said today: “As the media and technology landscape continues to change at pace, North American leagues and franchises have a huge opportunity to drive business growth in every area. We believe we have the track record and expertise to do that with more rights-holders, both on the West Coast and across the region.”
Two Circles’ other offices are in London and in the Swiss capital Bern, and its international portfolio of clients includes the Premier League, the All England Lawn Tennis Club, golf’s R&A, the International Cricket Council and Uefa.
Two Circles was acquired by GroupM in 2015 and, in an interview with Sportcal last July, Dominic Grainger, the chief executive of GroupM EMEA and of The Sports Practice at WPP, emphasised that the annual turnover of the business had increased by 400 per cent and had a client retention rate of 90 per cent.
He said of GroupM's plans in sport: "There will be a simpler structure, with Two Circles being the rights-holder facing business. They will be the entry port and platform for what we will deliver globally.”
Today, Gareth Balch, Two Circles chief executive, said: “Today is an important milestone in our growth. In the last 12 months we’ve seen unprecedented interest in the impact we can have helping North American sports rights-holders solve business challenges in areas ranging from digital sponsorship to growing OTT subscriptions and maximising ticket revenue. This on-the-ground presence in LA will help capitalise on that.”