Global PR firm FleishmanHillard (FH) has revealed plans to reboot its sports practice, supported by a refreshed international leadership team.
Former Octagon group director Chris Gratton is to head up the European office from London, reporting into new global managing director Diana Kraus.
Kraus will move from her position as senior vice president and senior partner at the firm, having led on a number of major US sponsor activations around mega-sports events.
New regional leads have also been announced for the Americas (Steve Hickok) and Asia (Suki Zhao).
FH Sports founding partners JJ Carter and Jim Woodcock will continue to serve as senior advisors across the agency’s client portfolio and new business work.
[Above: Chris Gratton - European lead]
Carter commented: “The agency formally launched FleishmanHillard Sports in 2007, leaning into our experience helping some of the world’s most ambitious sponsors and most exciting leagues expand their business interests worldwide.
“As our sports portfolio continues to expand, it’s very exciting to be able to appoint a new generation of great leaders to drive our next decade of growth for the practice.”
As part of the relaunch, FleishmanHillard plans to roll out a new sports intelligence offering, TRUE Global Intelligence, powered by the integrated FH Intelligence Engine.
The platform is designed to deliver actionable insights to drive creative campaigns and sponsorship communications strategies, while also protecting reputation surrounding major global events.
New global MD Kraus said: “It’s a fascinating time to work in sports. Teams are more sophisticated, athletes are building brands, leagues are wrestling with real issues, and fans expect more of them all.
“The stakes have never been higher for brands, but that risk comes with potential for reward. We get excited about helping clients earn the right to trade on the passion inherent to sports through compelling, credible programs that deliver real value for their bottom line.
“There’s no better time than the present for FleishmanHillard to be investing in its sports offering and I’m looking forward to working with this team to move it forward.”
FleishmanHillard Sports currently consists of more than 150 specialist advisers across nearly 40 offices worldwide.
The relaunch aims to strengthen and expand the agency’s footprint in major markets, with a particular emphasis on Asia ahead of a series of major global events scheduled to take place in the region in coming years.
Parent organisation FleishmanHillard has more than 80 offices in 30 countries, specialising in public relations, reputation management, public affairs, brand marketing, digital strategy, social engagement and content strategy. The agency is part of Omnicom Public Relations Group.