Sports marketing and sponsorship agency Citigate Sponsorship (CS), has been merged back into its sister marketing company Team LGM (TL) after only 13 months of trading.
The move follows parent company Incepta’s acquisition of sponsorship agencies Red Mandarin and Karen Earl (MW September 20) in two deals worth &£10.2m.
CS employed seven staff, four of whom have transferred to TL. The others resigned with jobs to go to, and managing director Tony Simpson – who created CS – is believed to be in talks with advertising agencies about a new role.
Incepta director of UK marketing services Susie Vivian admits that although CS was spun out of TL in order to deliver a full service in relation to sponsorship rights for brands, it ended up just advising on how best to exploit existing agreements.
She says: “The work CS ended up doing was implementation [in relation to sports sponsorship]. It was not getting consultancy work.”
With Incepta’s newly acquired sponsorship agencies offering all sponsorship services, there was no longer any need for CS, she says.
Furthermore, Vivian admits that the names Red Mandarin and Karen Earl are better known in the sports sponsorship area than the name Citigate, which is more closely associated with offering services to financial brands.
TL new business director Guy Hepplewhite adds that there was a realisation that the CS team were not “rights and negotiations experts” and says the merger would now allow them to focus on their speciality – brand exploitation.