MSQ drafts in M&C chiefs for data-driven sports agency

Jamie Wynne-Morgan (L) + Steve Martin (R) 2MSQ is launching a global sport and entertainment agency group, powered by a proprietary data and insight tool – Tribes – developed by MSQ agency Freemavens and led by former M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment duo Steve Martin and Jamie Wynne-Morgan.

MSQ Sport + Entertainment will use the power of sport and entertainment to create deeper connections for brands, talent and rights holders with services spanning sponsorship strategy and activation, social content strategy and production, PR and communications, live experiential events and talent management.

Callaway Golf Europe has signed up as the agency’s founding client for strategic consultancy services with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Martin, who was global CEO and Wynne-Morgan, who was UK CEO of M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, created and developed the award-winning agency over a 20-year period; they left in November 2023.

They will be backed by creative, technology and media company MSQ, its private equity funder OEP and MSQ’s 1,200-strong talented team of strategists, creatives, data analysts and channel activation specialists, as they look to attract the best talent and the best agencies through a significant acquisition and organic growth strategy.

A number of acquisition targets in the US and Europe have already been identified and conversations with industry specialists are underway. MSQ Sport + Entertainment’s proposition will be differentiated by creativity, amplified by technology and enabled by data.

It is claimed the Tribes tool uses advanced analytics to harness and map digital conversations, content, and curiosity at the pace of culture and enables clients to more deeply understand what makes their audiences tick and how to better connect with them with the right content, in the right place, at the right time.

The duo reckon that by building from the ground-up and with investment for acquisitions, they can create a dynamic global agency that is truly reflective of the current and future opportunities in the ever-evolving sport and entertainment industry.

They will be working alongside MSQ executive director Kate Howe to bring the agency vision to life.

Jamie Wynne-Morgan said: “Technology will be integrated into our offering to intelligently accelerate insights, understanding and approaches to enhance the skills of our team, by working closely with the best minds and tools in this space within MSQ.

“It’s MSQ’s people and its culture – it’s strong belief in investing in specialisms, its B-Corp accreditation and its incentivised model that delivers effective internal collaborative working and growth – that really appealed to Steve and I.”

Martin added: “The sport and entertainment industry is an emotionally charged, fast paced world. This is a huge opportunity for Jamie and I to build an agile invested agency for the modern era. An agency that fuses technology and human expertise to keep pace with ever-evolving fan culture and behaviour in real-time to make sure brands never miss a moment.

“We believe it will be an attractive place for clients to work with and the best talent to work for.”

MSQ global chief executive Peter commented: “We’ve been looking at developing a world-leading sport and entertainment proposition for some time, that builds on the work currently going on within our agencies in tapping into talent and brands in this space.

“For us it was finding the right people with the right cultural fit and in Steve and Jamie we have that in abundance. They are two of the industry’s leading operators with a significant global track-record operating in an experience-driven space that is increasingly attracting greater consumer spend.

“We are thrilled to be working with them to create an agency that builds authentic connections between brands and cultural trends that are expressed through sport and entertainment. It is an area that is becoming increasingly critical for forward-looking brands and this new agency will deliver a significant increase in our capabilities in this area which is incredibly exciting.”

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