Sodexho Account Heads to Trion

Trion Communications last week was hired by Sodexho USA to handle its Northeast regional marketing account.

Billings are estimated at $2-3 million for the new assignment, which includes creative development, media placement, public relations, design and collateral.

The Providence, R.I., shop is tasked with helping Sodexho, one of the nation’s leading providers of food and facilities-management services, to “build a relationship with students, faculty and staff,” said Sodexho regional marketing director Allyson Murphy. To that end, Trion will craft print campaigns and other materials designed to build awareness for Sodexho on various campuses.

Trion will initially target New England schools such as MIT, Bryant College and Roger Williams University—mainly with ads breaking in the next few weeks in college papers and vertical publications that cater to staff and faculty, according to Trion principal Josh Fenton. “As they add more colleges, it means more work for Trion,” he said.

Trion will also produce manuals and other communications materials for use by client employees.

The shop was selected without a review, based in part on ties between agency executives and the client, said Fenton. Murphy worked with Fenton in the 1990s when the latter was an executive at RDW Group in Providence and Murphy oversaw advertising at Brigham’s Ice Cream.

Trion’s work for food-related clients (Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese) and colleges (Brown University, University of Pennsylvania), also played into the shop’s selection, Fenton said.

The Sodexho win “establishes us in packaged-goods services” and reinforces the shop’s standing as a player in college marketing, Fenton said.

Sodexho, which garnered $5.5 billion in 2001 sales, has 130,000 employees in North America. The company mainly competes against Aramark, Compass Group and ServiceMaster. Sodexho was formed in the 2001 merger of Marriott’s food-service and facilities-management business with the domestic operations of French company Sodexho Alliance.