Media group Group M has moved into sports sponsorship with the launch of full-service sponsorship and sports rights division, SponsorCom.
The division’s foundation client is Football Federation Australia (FFA).
SponsorCom will be led by former Sports & Entertainment staffer, Rob Smith (pictured), as head of Australian Operations.
John Steedman, GroupM chairman and chief executive, said: The business of sport is expanding rapidly, but not all codes or stakeholders are keeping pace with the changing influences and drivers of the industry – or, importantly, monetising the full value of their assets.”
“SponsorCom will help Australian sporting bodies navigate the often complex world of sponsorship, media rights and related areas through an intelligent advisory service. With his immense experience and considerable commercial acumen, Rob is the perfect person to steer the launch of this new service.”
SponsorCom will operate in all four GroupM media agencies with the aim of rising revenue, profile and financial stability of sporting bodies through the creation of new assets and monetising existing platforms.
FFA’s chief executive David Gallop described the partnership as an “exciting opportunity for football to continue to grow in the competitive sporting landscape”.
Smith, who also has two years experience managing the Australian Rugby Union’s professional plater environment, added: “I am excited to be joining GroupM and heading up SponsorCom, which I believe will deliver an unparalleled offering for sports right holders, individual sports people, traditional and new media broadcasters and, most importantly, brands. SponsorCom will sit at the point where all these parties intersect, providing a unique and exciting platform from which to create value for everyone.”
Meanwhile, football fans have been hit with a new sporting scandal this week with the 10 arrests over Victorian Premier League match fixing.
The arrests were made after the FFA handed details of suspicious betting patterns to the Victorian Police. Gallop has said the FFA will “throw the book” at those involved in the international match fixing scandal, describing it as a “distressing episode” for the sport.