Starcom Pips PHD & Kaimera To Win Gold At Nine’s Agency Games – Check Out All Of The Photos And Coverage Of The Event

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Nine’s inaugural Agency Games pitted 16 agency and brand sports teams against each other in Olympic and Paralympic events. Starcom, PHD and Kaimera all made the podium, the banter was as fast and furious as the action, but the real winner of the day was sport.

Photo gallery: Check out all of the thrills, spills and smiles at Nine’s Agency Games.

If there was ever a reason to doubt whether agencies (and some brands) are a competitive bunch, Nine’s Agency Games quickly dispelled such myths.

Sixteen teams from across the industry battled each other across a number of sporting disciplines for a few gruesome (and fun) hours at Sydney Swans HQ last week.

There was badminton, futsal, goalball, wheelchair basketball, a walking relay and breakdance battle of the ages. The aim was to celebrate (and educate) agencies and sponsors about some of the sports at the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“We wanted to get our agency clients and buyers a chance to experience some of the games, particularly our Olympic and Paralympic sports, so they can get a sense of what these athletes are going through and what they’re achieving to represent their family, friends and Australia,” Nine’s director of sales of sport, Matt Granger, said. “We had all the agencies we wanted and you could see how much they enjoy getting involved.” 

When asked how Nine’s Olympic and Paralympic partnership sales sprint is going, he added: “We’ve fully completed our partner programme and we released some other premium packages in February. We’re now open to the casual market. We’re exactly where we want to be at this point in time, with effectively 12 weeks to the opening ceremony.” 

The event was hosted by Nine’s sports presenter James Bracey and featured Rachael Gunn (R-Gunn), who has recently made the Australian Olympic Team in Breaking, Paralympic athletics medallist Rheed McCracken and Olympic beach volleyball medallist Kerri Pottharst. 

Caption: Matt Granger, Nine’s Director of Sales, Sport; Kerri Pottharst; Anne Gruber, Director of Content Partnerships – Sport, Olympic and Paralympic Games; Rheed McCracken; Rachael Gunn; James Bracey.

 

After being given a dressing down by Granger and Bracey about the format and what’s expected, teams were put to their paces across six rounds of competition where each team played a different sport against a new opponent in each round.

Limbs were hurt, skin was grazed, and the sole doctor at the venue was kept busy on his feet as teams put their hearts, souls and bragging rights on the line.

Starcom emerged victorious, followed by PHD and Kaimera. 

The Publicis Groupe outfit, clad in navy blue, had been slightly off the pace after an Atomic 212 team of ring-ins (largely journos and Nine sales folk), beat them in a 2-1 wheelchair basketball thriller in round four.

But from that point on Team Starcom excelled during the walking relay and caught the eye of R-Gunn in the breakdance finale (see photo below), motoring to victory by an impressive margin (see final scoreboard below).

PHD put in a consistent show, but fell just short while Kaimera pipped Atomic 212 by one, solitary point to the bronze medal, to the relief of one or two Nine sales reps.

Although not picking up silverware on the day, the spirit of Nine’s Agency Games was encapsulated by several moments.

Watching athletes don blindfolds and flop about like fish out of water in goalball – a Paralympic sport in which blind athletes try to score goals by throwing a ball with a bell past three defenders (see below).

Wheelchair basketball also provided plenty of thrills as agency folks and clients often struggled to manoeuvre wheelchairs, while holding and occasionally bouncing a basketball and not careering into each other.

The breakdance epic showed that media agency execs have plenty of moves, theatre and attitude they could be bringing to a pitching environment.

But perhaps what they should leave in the locker (and well away from clients) is their walking form, with some rather questionable giraffe-like efforts making for ugly viewing.

Spark Foundry’s planning executive Rhys Taylor was one of the heroes of the day. Taking the anchor leg of the walking relay when all chips were down, the former McDonald’s manager pretty much ran the leg, with straightened legs, to spare his agency’s blushes and redefine the science of ‘walking’.

A Nine insider told B&T that on Agency Games form, they do not expect too many of Australia’s future Olympic and Paralympians to come from adland, but that’s besides the point. 

Agency execs all had a cracking time and sport was, ultimately, the winner.

You can view all of the photos in our led image gallery above, but here are some highlights:




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