Barkley Evergreen & Partners in Kansas City, Mo., has created a new sports marketing arm to help clients capitalize on the growing availability of sports sponsorship and marketing.
The division, B&E Sports Marketing, will operate as an independent company, but will be "strategically aligned" with its parent agency, said general manager Joe Sciara. Dan Fromm, son of BE&P founder Bill Fromm, also will work in the sports marketing division.
The new unit is envisioned as a way for the agency to tap into the $4.5 billion sports sponsorship market, Sciara said.
"It's another service that the agency can provide for companies to get their foot in the door," he said.
The division will look for ways to expand opportunities on the marketing side of sports sponsorship, Sciara said.
For instance, while several companies currently sponsor cars in NASCAR events, that's where participation stops, he said. The new unit will help companies better leverage their participation with event promotions, he said.
Initially, B&E Sports Marketing will focus on motor sports events. Sciara said the increasing popularity of motor sports--NASCAR, in particular--led the agency to that decision. Companies will invest $1.1 billion in motor sports sponsorship programs this year, according to Chicago-based newsletter IEG Sponsorship Report.
The unit is working with Westwood, Kan.-based Sprint Corp. and its Spree Prepaid Foncard's sponsorship of driver Adam Petty. Promotional events include a Million Dollar Crew Chief Sweepstakes, in which customers will have the chance to work with Petty's pit crew and win $1 million if he wins the race.
Though initially focused on motor sports, B&E Sports Marketing will not limit itself to that area if clients want to get involved in other events, Sciara said. The company is already working with unidentified clients on potential projects with the National Football League, he said.
BE&P is a $150 million agency, with such clients as Cellular One, Hallmark, Parts America and the Kansas and Missouri lotteries.