GroupM ESP Named Strategic Consultant to Union

NEW YORK (December 14, 2010)—GroupM ESP, the Entertainment & Sports Partnerships division of media services agency parent company GroupM, has been engaged by the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer to serve as a strategic consultant in developing the positioning and engagement of the Union brand within the corporate community. 

The announcement was made today by GroupM ESP Chief Executive Officer Greg Luckman and Philadelphia Union and PPL Park CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz.

GroupM ESP will support the overall Philadelphia Union organization in developing, solidifying and extending its partnerships with the corporate community, both locally & nationally.  Utilizing their extensive experience in guiding brands on how best to leverage partnerships, GroupM ESP will assess the multitude of assets linked to the Union brand and provide counsel on a go-to-market commercial strategy.  In doing so, they will develop the most compelling value propositions for corporate brands to partner with the Philadelphia Union as part of their overall marketing efforts.  

Through this strategic alliance, GroupM ESP will concept custom activation strategies for existing and prospective partners of the Philadelphia Union, as well as work to extend the Union brand across media channels, developing content and social media strategies around their roster of young stars, including 2010 MLS Best XI recipient Sebastien Le Toux. In addition, GroupM ESP and the Philadelphia Union will work together to expand the club’s local broadcast consumption and develop proprietary programming extensions.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Philadelphia Union to help build upon the tremendous success of their inaugural season by creating a deeper connection with the business community,” said Greg Luckman, GroupM ESP CEO “Their single-minded focus on authenticity across all facets of the organization to become the most admired American soccer brand is very attractive for companies that are looking to capitalize on the emerging marketing power of Soccer in the US.” 

"The connection that fans and consumers have made during our inaugural year with the Philadelphia Union and PPL Park is extraordinary,” said Sakiewicz. "Our goal is to communicate that unique connection and atmosphere to the corporate community. GroupM ESP really understands our mission and their deep experience in guiding brands on how to leverage fan connections to teams and stadium experiences is exceptional. This partnership is exactly what we need to make our connection with the corporate world as strong and deep as it is with our fans and consumers.”

Major League Soccer’s 16th team, Philadelphia Union had an extremely successful first season, averaging just over 19,000 fans per game, including four complete sell outs. On June 27th, the team opened its brand new soccer specific stadium, PPL Park, to rave reviews, including the Mid Atlantic Construction Magazine’s Best Sports Project of the Year Award. Le Toux proved to be one of MLS’ brightest stars, leading the League in combined goals and assists and garnering the Xbox 360 Fair Play Award, which is given to the player who exhibits the best sportsmanship over the course of the season.
GroupM ESP is a division of GroupM, the world’s leading global media investment management operation and the parent company to WPP media agencies Maxus, MediaCom, MEC and Mindshare. Uniquely positioned at the nexus of both the media and marketing industry, GroupM ESP helps clients build their businesses through the strategic implementation of multi-faceted sports and entertainment marketing partnerships.
Luckman and Sakiewicz said the agreement is effective immediately.
Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, is the ownership group of Philadelphia Union and is comprised of Chairman/Owner Jay Sugarman, CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, Christopher Buccini, Robert Buccini and David Pollin, founding partners of The Buccini/Pollin Group. The group launched the Philadelphia Union's inaugural season on March 25, 2010 and opened PPL Park, the brand new $122 million soccer specific stadium on the Chester Waterfront, on June 27, 2010.  PPL Park, the home of Philadelphia Union, holds approximately 18,500 seats and will host various events throughout the year. For more information about Philadelphia Union, visit

GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare.  Our primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our stakeholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. The agencies that comprise GroupM are all global operations in their own right with leading market positions. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of physical and intellectual scale to benefit trading, innovation, and new communication services, to bring competitive advantage to our clients and our companies.

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