Horizon Media has launched a new offering, Horizon Sports & Experiences (HS&E), the latest in a series of strategic moves by the media agency. HS&E will be led by David Levy, founder of Back Nine Ventures, LLC and former president of Turner, and Chris Weil, former chair and CEO of Momentum Worldwide. They will serve as co-CEOs and equity partners in the new venture.
The new firm, which includes the merger of Horizon’s Scout Sports and Entertainment division, was created to provide a differentiated and comprehensive approach for clients engaging in sports and experiential marketing. Michael Neuman, head of Scout, will become executive vice president of HS&E, reporting to Levy and Weil.
With Weil’s move to HS&E, IPG is elevating long-time Momentum executive and current president of North America, Donnalyn Smith, to succeed Weil as its global CEO. Weil will remain as chairman until the end of the year to support Smith throughout the transition period, then will then serve in a consulting capacity to Interpublic on certain client matters through the full year 2023.
Horizon Sports & Experiences will include a core focus on IP creation and monetization, strategic advisory and consulting, media rights, sponsorship, sales, and experiential strategy and activation. Horizon Media’s recently launched metaverse consultancy, Chapter & Verse, will be merged into the expanded offerings of HS&E.
“As marketers seek more integration and more connections with the consumer, we are always seeking ways to evolve ahead of the landscape to meet those needs, and Horizon Sports & Experiences will do just that — building on the foundation that Scout created and introducing a new and expanded suite of services that will be vital for where the market is going,” said Bill Koenigsberg, CEO and founder of Horizon Media in a statement.
“In today’s ever-changing media landscape, there are even more opportunities to develop strong new IP destination events and help existing and emerging sports leagues navigate new distribution platforms, as well as sponsorship and sales,” said Levy in a statement. “To that end, we’ll also be looking at opportunities to deploy available capital for strategic acquisitions to extend these capabilities and accelerate HS&E’s impact for our clients.”
From 2003 until his recent departure, Weil served as chair and CEO of Momentum Worldwide, where he oversaw the agency’s growth from two offices to 30 around the globe, achieving regular double-digit growth year-over- year and ultimately managing over $5 billion in sponsorship assets. Momentum was named as part of this year’s Adweek Experiential Agency of the Year.
“We’re creating a company that will be at the forefront of monetizing Web3 in this blended physical/digital world…we’ll be aggressively identifying and exploring acquisitions across IP, experiential and other services that align with our vision,” said Weil in a statement.
Smith joined Momentum in 1995 and has been integral to the company’s success, supporting several of its largest clients across a range of brand experience verticals. As president of the agency’s North American offices, Smith oversaw the people, client portfolios and business development opportunities in the region, producing strong performance and results. She’s also been a standout advocate for talent growth, building support systems for working parents at the company.
“I’m energized by the challenge to further evolve the Momentum agency model,” said Smith in a statement. “We’ve accomplished so much to date and with the changes in technology and consumer embrace of the metaverse, we will continue to define what experiences will look like.”