Two Circles

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The success of UK sports rights owners to get more people watching live sport than ever should be an inspiration to the world, says Gareth Balch, chief executive of data-driven sports marketing agency Two Circles.

Highlights of the Fan Engagement panel at the Sports Decision Makers Summit in London. Highlights of the Fan Engagement panel at the Sports Decision Makers Summit in London. The panel looks beyond cookie-cutter approaches to fan engagement and discusses the importance of creativity and technology in creating deeper and more profitable engagement with fans.

ESP Properties was launched in June 2015 as WPP’s attempt to create a sports marketing major to challenge the likes of IMG. Last year, its UK team was absorbed by its Two Circles division. In July 2018, its US operations were sold off. GroupM, the WPP subsidiary which created ESP, doesn’t see this as a failure or retrenchment. Some rivals and independent sponsorship experts have a different view.

Two years ago the International Cricket Council hired data-driven sports marketing agency Two Circles help meet the rising demand that rights-holders demonstrate measurable impact against brand objectives. David Walmsley investigates how they did it.

Deal values Two Circles at $42m, extends deep tie between Bruin Sports Capital and WPP

75.1 million people will have visited a live UK sports event in 2019, breaking the record for the country and making it the only place in the world where sporting attendances exceed the population

Sponsorship growth accelerates, but agency warns of still-unrealized value, heavy reliance on traditional categories

People are spending 22 per cent more of their leisure time watching sport than they were a decade ago, according to research from international sports marketing agency Two Circles