Chime Communications restructures to focus on sport

Chime Communications has restructured to focus on sports and digital marketing after its PR contract with the US Government ended earlier than expected.

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Chime Communications, reporting its interim results for the period 1 January to 8 November, says that it would ramp up its sports marketing offering because it has shown the strongest growth over the last 12 months.

Lord Tim Bell, chairman of Chime, says: “Sports marketing [will become] a higher proportion of our business and, because of the ending of the US contract, our public relations division to be a lower proportion of our business.”

The expansion of the agency’s sports marketing division, which includes sponsorship business Fast Track (pictured), has been driven by a number of acquisitions in emerging markets such as Brazil, ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014 and 2016 Rio Olympics.

It is not clear how many jobs may go from its PR business, which traditionally accounts for half of the firm’s revenues.

Bell adds that Chime’s advertising and marketing divisions, which includes VCCP, continued to do well, despite trading in “a difficult economic environment”.

Chime downplayed 2011 growth predictions following a tough year, warning investors to expect 2011 to be stunted in comparison to the high organic growth the company has reported over the past six years.

“We continue to expect growth, but not at the same rate as the last few years,” says Bell. “We will continue to be acquisitive and we expect organic growth from our existing businesses and their expansion into disciplines and geographies in which we do not currently operate.”

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