Lagardère Sports rebrands to SPORTFIVE under new leadership structure


Global sports agency Lagardère Sports and Entertainment has rebranded to SPORTFIVE, following the sale of the business from Lagardère Group to private equity firm H.I.G. Capital in mid-April. The private equity firm now owns a majority of 75.1% stake in the business.

SPORTFIVE’s business model will continue under the principle of customer centricity. While believing in the power of sports and the benefits of responsible commercialisation, the agency aims to continue creating and growing sustainable long-term value for brands, media partners and rights-holders.

According to SPORTFIVE, the brand name is derived from two reasons. Firstly, SPORT – as the agency and its people believe in the power of sports and secondly, FIVE – as it represents the five core stakeholder groups it serves: brands, rights-holders, media platforms, fans and its people. SPORTFIVE also emphasises some of the company’s historic roots – in terms of emotion, professionalism and pioneering mindset.

In a statement to Marketing, Adrian Staiti, president APAC at SPORTFIVE said the rebranding started with extensive research and stakeholder consultations, as well as discussions within a core project team about the nature and history of the business. The results of these consultations and discussions were reviewed and summarised for a branding approach that best suited the agency and its future direction. Following the creation of a design brief, SPORTFIVE worked with its in-house agency BRAVE on its brand positioning as well as the brand design, including the new logo. In parallel, SPORTFIVE also worked to define its corporate identity that will ultimately be the foundation of the new brand and will transcend into the brand design.

The primary and secondary designs of SPORTFIVE emphasise "Victory For All" in its five core groups and will be part of all online and offline collateral including the brand video, communication collateral and visual boards at partner events. The agency also looks to promote the brand via exclusive and interactive content across its key digital and social platforms and cater them for the different markets.

“This initial company backbone has been developed over the years into a strong, global conglomerate of sport business agencies and now serves as guidance for the new SPORTFIVE masterbrand, as an even more focused, efficient and data-intelligent way forward emerges,” the media statement read.

A number of agency subsidiaries are integrated into the new SPORTFIVE brand, including Lagardère Sports, Lagardère PLUS, U! Sports, VIP Sportstravel. The subsidiaries Rooftop2 Production and Event Knowledge Services will continue to operate under the own brand but will receive an endorsement as a SPORTFIVE company. While, off-season football event organisation service Onside and creative agency Brave will continue to operate under its existing brand name.

As part of the transformation process, SPORTFIVE has also aims to shift its focus to a dual organisational structure of dedicated market areas and global growth units. Within this new framework, the agency will be managed and steered on a global scale by a four-member executive committee, consisting of CEO Stefan Felsing, chief operating officer Philipp Hasenbein, newly-created role of chief growth officer for Robert Müller von Vultejus and Christian Peters as CFO.

According to SPORTFIVE, the committee will lead the agency together with the global leadership team with a focus on operational excellence at scale and global growth areas. Within this structure, the global sports marketing agency looks to leverage its local expertise and long-standing relationships in each continent and country to fuel continuous growth and innovation on a global level.

The agency’s further organisational structure will be based on geographies. The APAC region will be led by Adrian Staiti, who has been with the company since 2011. He last helmed the role of executive vice president of global partnerships. 

Staiti also told Marketing in APAC, the agency has a good variety of core assets across its key markets. These include the AFF Suzuki Cup; Borussia Dortmund (BVB); the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC); Paralympics Australia; the Australian Turf Club (ATC); HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens; Belgium FA; League of Legends Oceana (OCL); T1 Entertainment and Sports; the SMBC Singapore Open; and the Australian Open. SPORTFIVE is also fully engaged with Singapore Sports Hub to build a strong sports calendar and sell its commercial rights and hospitality suites, and also ramping up in Hong Kong to support Kai Tak Sports Park’s commercial and content programme.

Meanwhile, Joel Segal will be the president Americas, Idriss Akki as president Africa, and Philipp Hasenbein for Europe. Within Europe, the three core markets remain France led by Laurent Moretti, UK led by Carl Woodman and Germany, whilst the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Spain and Denmark are of further additional market relevance in Europe.

Felsing said the new leadership team, new ownership and reintroducing to the world of sport a legacy brand name, SPORTFIVE, not only represents its founding pioneering spirit, but also its future of being one of the most progressive and respected partners in sports.

“SPORTFIVE is made up of pioneers in sports across different regions, we believe in the power of sports and that its responsible commercialisation can benefit the society as a whole. I look forward to bringing our tenacity, energy, experience, integrity and trust earned from our stakeholders to make SPORTFIVE synonymous for innovative and emotional sports marketing,” he added.

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