Serco Leisure picks agency to help it beef up marketing

TBWAManchester has been appointed by leisure management company Serco Leisure to handle its integrated advertising account. The win follows a competitive pitch against three other undisclosed agencies.

Serco says the appointment of TBWAManchester is part of a new “marketing-led” approach to align branding and communications across the UK. It has been briefed to carry out strategic market and consumer analysis and develop local marketing campaigns for leisure facilities run by Serco. Activity is expected to include online, direct mail, outdoor and press advertising.

The agency is the first marketing services appointment for Serco, which operates 65 leisure venues across the UK and Jersey, in partnership with local authorities and leisure trusts.

The decision to beef up its marketing comes as the Government steps up targets and accountability in the sport and leisure industry as part of its strategy to capitalise on the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In June, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport Andy Burnham announced major reforms to Sport England, which confined the body’s responsibilities purely to sport (MW June 12). This shifted the onus for encouraging the public into physical activity to other Government departments such as The Department of Health and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Serco, which operates sport and leisure facilities such as the Manchester Aquatics Centre and Hampshire’s Aquadrome, will be involved in delivering initiatives such as the Government’s £140m free swimming scheme, announced by Burnham in July, which will be implemented by local authorities.

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