Low-Profile Agency Chases Big-League Dreams

Lapham Miller Taps Woolf All-Star to Help Reach the ‘Next Level’
BOSTON–Sports is such an integral part of Chip Rives’ biography that a move from a high-profile job at Woolf Associates to an obscure North Shore marketing communications firm may seem out of character. But Rives said the desire to own a stake in the company he’s working to build was incentive enough.
Rives resigned from Boston-based Woolf, where he was president of sports and entertainment marketing, to become president of Lapham Miller.
Founding partners Ken Miller and Ralph Lapham started the Andover, Mass., company almost 20 years ago and now work on design-oriented and strategic positioning projects for a diverse mix of clients, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cahners Business Information and Hewlett-Packard Medical Products.
At Woolf, Rives was replaced by Paul Tedeschi, who founded Collegiate Advantage but last year sold the youth-oriented marketing firm to Student Advantage, Boston. Tedeschi becomes chief marketing officer. The president’s post is expected to go unfilled.
Rives, who created mostly events and sponsorship packages for such clients as Bell Atlantic and Fleet, adopting their existing brands to conceive events and promotions, said he is looking forward to being on the ground floor of brand development and “the opportunity to run a company.”
An executive recruiter was responsible for introducing Rives to Lapham Miller principals, who initiated a search for a new leader to build on the base they had established. “We certainly didn’t hire him because of his sports marketing background,” said Ken Miller. “It was more his energy, enthusiasm and leadership abilities that we hope to capitalize on to take us to the next level.”
As for Rives’ sports background, the former Wake Forest fullback was honored in 1987 by Sports Illustrated for starting Santa’s Helper, a program in Winston-Salem, N.C., that to this day involves Wake Forest athletes bringing toys to needy kids.