Monday 16 December 2019 2:38 pm

WPP offloads stake in sports marketing agency Two Circles

WPP today announced it has sold a majority stake in sports marketing agency Two Circles to New York-based private equity firm Bruin Sports Capital.

Two Circles, which sat in WPP’s Group M division, analyses data on sports fans across the world to create marketing campaigns. It counts the Premier League, UEFA, Formula 1, and Wimbledon among its clients.

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WPP, which bought up a stake in Two Circles in 2015, did not disclose the value of the deal and said the transaction remained subject to regulatory approval.

The disposal comes as the holding group looks to slim down its sprawling empire and refocus on its core business. Earlier this month the company completed the $4bn (£3bn) sale of a majority stake in market research firm in Kantar.

“The sports industry is moving from a business-to-business model to a direct-to-consumer model where growth will be centered around a direct relationship between sports and fans,” said Gareth Balch, founder and chief executive of Two Circles.

“Over the last eight years, we believe we have built proven models that can take sports properties on this journey.”

The deal follows a $600m partnership between Bruin, CVC Capital Partners and The Jordan Company aimed at building next-generation sports and entertainment businesses.

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George Pyne, Bruin founder and chief executive, said: “As we look to the future of the sports economy, everything we do will trace back to how well we can leverage consumer data intelligence to spur growth. 

“Two Circles has been way ahead of the industry on this and has developed a new breed of agency that serves every business unit of a sports organisation.”