Havas 'wakes up to the beast' – launches sports unit

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 27 July 2016
Francis Coady

Havas has launched its global sports and entertainment offering (HS&E) in Australia, with founding client LG.

The division has already rolled out in 20 markets and its aim is to get brands to better leverage the IP created by films, music events and sporting codes.

Given it's in the likes of US, China, Russia, UK and South Africa, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Hyundai and British Airways are already on its global client roster.

The business will be lead locally by Francis Coady, who has previously worked with brands such as Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, The NRL, Football Federation Australia and 20th Century Fox. Coady told AdNews that Havas Australia chose to launch the offering now because the “hunger” was there from clients.

The new division could also be a way to solve client conflicts for the agency, with Coady flagging his intention to work with existing Havas clients, but also to go after clients of his own.

Coady explained that brand deals with properties such as sport and entertainment aren't new, but he feels the advertising industry is just becoming aware of the power of such deals.

“This is not a new world,” he says. “The music and the sporting industry have been pushing back to our world for many years, it's just now that the advertising industry is going back to the world of IP rights holders – we're waking up to the beast that is the world of partnerships.”

HS&E locally has already managed to woo LG, by proactively pitching a campaign centring around the brands latest vacuum cleaner launch and the roll out of the Ghostbusters film. Coady says that the idea evolved organically, adding that it progressed to tie ups with Harvey Norman, giving LG cut through in the crowded vacuum space, but also a valuable connection to a prominent retailer.

When it comes to local brands making the most our of existing IP, Coady says it's booming market globally but there's room for growth locally. “It's an emerging market here, in America it's a full blown world.”

He says that often budgets are driven globally and pushed down locally, budgetary constraints are there but “Outside that, with sport or film you've got these major passion points for people with huge followings and these offerings are spending lots of marketing dollars on their own IP – so why wouldn't brands leverage this existing pool of engagement?

“These offerings are talking directly to the consumer already – so why wouldn't you piggyback of that?” He added.

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