Publication: Valor Econômico - SP ( www.valoronline.com.br/)
Title: "Ronaldo will be a WPP partner in a consultancy"
Page: Front Page and B8 Date: 11/8/2010
Author: Adriana Mattos
Read the interview below or click here to register and read the article in Spanish.
During a visit to Brazil this week, the worldwide CEO of the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide agency, Miles Young, informed that the WPP Group - Ogilvy’s parent company and the biggest communication agency in the world - is about to start on a new area in Brazil, together with the player Ronaldo, from Corinthians [Brazilian soccer team]. In the last months, the company and player began negotiations to become partners in a sports marketing consulting company and talks have advanced. The official announcement of the new company, which shall be named 9Nine, will be in early September and its headquarters shall be in São Paulo.
According to the initial plan, the new activity will not only offer its services to clients connected to the WPP Group, Ogilvy's parent company, but also to those linked to other agencies in Brazil and worldwide.
When questioned, the player Ronaldo confirmed the negotiations through its advisors. He shall occupy a board position in 9Nine only after the termination of his contract with Corinthians in December, 2011. To lead the company, a director with a marketing background shall be chosen, according to Valor, but this has still not been settled.
"The group is very keen to expand its activities in this market in Brazil because of the World Cup and Olympics in the country," said Young. Five companies have already signed a contract with the consultancy. "The plan is to offer a complete package of services, from promotion of events to creative support to a campaign in the sports area," said Sergio Amado, President of Ogilvy in Brazil, who has been the middleman between WPP and the player. In addition to Ogilvy, the WPP group owns Y&R and JWT in the country and earned US$ 5.5 billion from January to March this year worldwide, 2% below the earnings in 2009.
The player Ronaldo met the executive Martin Sorrell, CEO of the WPP Group, in May during an event at the Copacabana Palace hotel in Rio de Janeiro. And, for nearly a year, the parties discussed this project. The fact that Ronaldo did advertisements for Claro, Ogilvy’s client during the World Cup, has brought the athlete closer to the company. In Brazil, big agencies like AlmapBBDO and BorghiErh/Lowe, do not have independent specialized divisions in sports marketing.
The ABC group, from Nizan Guanaes, controls the ReUnion, which has operated in this area for years, and Pepper launched in April the BR Pro.
The new business should be a major factor in the expansion of the WPP Group in Brazil. According to Young, from Ogilvy, Brazil is among the five main markets of Ogilvy in the world, "and should exceed Germany, fourth place, within five years," he said. In Brazil, Ogilvy occupied the tenth place among the biggest advertising agencies in the first two months ranking of 2010, published by Ibope Monitor, which researches media investment in agencies.
According to him, Ogilvy worldwide has suffered a 10% decrease in business in 2009. "But now we see a reaction from the markets in general, except for Eastern Europe.” In Brazil, the company does not report results, but the board has stressed that the expansion of local operations in recent years has been about 18% per year.
Despite the expansion, Young makes a statement. "Infrastructure issues in the country are still the biggest obstacles to grow," said the executive. "It takes courage, ambition and determination to make changes."