WPP has a deal aimed at helping clients boost revenues from consumer products licensing. The holding company has signed with IMG, the marketing group that handles licensing for Pele and Notre Dame, to work together globally in licensing and merchandising services.
WPP and IMG will establish a joint team to serve WPP agency clients that will be affiliated with IMG Licensing. IMG has been a longtime giant in sports marketing, but has diversified over the years into fashion and other businesses.
IMG Licensing also represents the Manchester United soccer team in Asia, the World's Strongest Man competition, Wimbledon and Goodyear Racing. Through a collegiate division, it works on behalf of the Bowl Championship Series, the Rose Bowl, the Heisman Trophy, Penn State and a slew of other colleges. It works with individual athletes, such as Roger Federer and it representes "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi.
WPP CEO Martin Sorrell stated: "More than ever, licensing is emerging as one of the new creative ways of developing brands and sales. It is a capability we see as increasingly important to our clients."
The head of IMG's sports and entertainment group, George Pyne, stated that "our global execution capability and specialized expertise in the licensing business coupled with [WPP's] deep-rooted knowledge and relationships with certain client companies can yield some very beneficial and successful partnerships."