Seeking to further transform its advertising strategy from a discipline of "planning and buying to that of a key resource for building businesses," executives at SFX Entertainment, MediaCom and G-Whiz! Entertainment say they have put together a new advertising line-up, effective April 3.
Essentially, MediaCom has been awarded media consulting duties by SFX , while G-WHiZ! Entertainment will assume advertising duties for both SFX corporate and SFX/Delsener Slater, the company's concert promotion business in New York City.
According to a paper statement from MediaCom, the company will review "SFX Entertainment's current media operation, as well as the development of new media procedures and components." The goal, according to the statement, was to "best leverage" SFX's media spending."
Now in the midst of a prolonged acquisition program, SFX develops and manages touring Broadway shows, and sells Broadway subscription series and individual productions in 55 markets. An integrated franchise that promotes and produces a broad variety of live entertainment events locally, regionally and nationally, SFX has 122 venues overall, and owns or operates venues in 31 of the top 50 domestic markets. On Feb. 29, SFX was purchased in a $4.4 billion stock swap by Clear Channel Communications.
By the end of the year, when Clear Channel finalizes an outstanding $14 billion deal to purchase AMFM (a network of radio stations) and the subsequent $4.4 stock swap deal for SFX, the company will operate 874 radio and 19 television stations in the United States and will have equity interests in over 240 radio stations located in 33 countries around the world. Clear Channel also operates more than 550,000 outdoor advertising displays, including billboards, street furniture and transit panels. SFX Marketing and Communications senior vice president Rich Lobel stated that as a result of the Clear Channel merger, "MediaCom can help us develop and orchestrate promotional opportunities throughout our diverse network."
MediaCom senior vice president and director of client services, Jim Porcarelli, summarized the strategic thrust of the alliance saying, "This assignment is another example of how media is transforming from a discipline of planning and buying to a key resource for building businesses."
SFX's account amounts to roughly $100 in billings; MediaCom, an independent unit of Grey Advertising has over $8 billion in billings, with offices in 80 countries. G-WHiZ! Entertainment is a partner company of Grey Advertising as well.
-- By Murdoch McBride