Match Media wins Ardent Leisure

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 27 April 2015

Independent media agency Match Media has won the pitch for Australian leisure and theme park business Ardent Leisure.

The account, thought to be worth about $8 million to incumbent UM, was allegedly re-pitched for about $14 million in a new budget push, AdNews understands.

While as many as six or seven agencies were thought to have pitched initially, such as Carat, MediaCom, Ikon and Brisbane-based Media Circus, AdNews revealed that the pitch was then whittled down to three – Starcom, Match Media and Atomic212 – before Match was today revealed as the chosen partner.

Ardent Leisure owns and operates attractions such as Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint theme parks and attractions such as AMF and Kingpin Bowling, Goodlife Health Clubs, and more. It also has a growing portfolio of family entertainment assets in the US.

UM CEO Mat Baxter confirmed to AdNews that it was not involved in the pitch for the business as both parties had agreed to part ways.

CEO of Match Media John Preston said the account was an opportunity to show Match's proficiency in analytics.

“We are delighted to partner with Ardent Leisure. Each business unit is at an exciting stage of development and we are really looking forward to contributing to their future growth through our media smarts and digital and analytics capability,” Preston said.

New Ardent CEO Deborah Thomas said Match was succesful thanks to its digital prowess.

“The review was conducted to identify a media agency that was well equipped for the digital future and offer a high level of analytics to contribute to our business intelligence," Thomas said.

"Match impressed us in these areas, as well as offering Ardent an innovative and integrated customer engagement strategy and media solutions under one roof.”

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