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International: Vodafone’s Peter Harris to head new global agency, iris Sponsorship

16-October-2008
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International: Vodafone’s Peter Harris to head new global agency, iris Sponsorship

iris Worldwide, the integrated marketing micro-network that counts Sony Ericsson, adidas, Shell and ING among its clients, has announced the launch of ‘iris Sponsorship’, a global sponsorship agency, which would be headed by Peter Harris, former Global Head of Sponsorship and Media at Vodafone. Harris, who has over 20 years’ experience in media and sponsorship, will take up the role of Managing Director of iris Sponsorship.

iris Sponsorship will offer end-to-end solutions with strategic and global capability in all areas of the sponsorship process and will work closely with all other iris agencies globally to activate campaigns across all above and below the line channels, including advertising, PR, digital, experiential, promotions and retail, among others.

The agency will be property neutral and will focus on helping clients understand the role and potential real value of sponsorship, as well as helping clients understand, negotiate and then leverage the most efficient set of rights. Additionally, the agency will seek to challenge the existing more traditional approaches to sponsorship with a strong focus on strategy, measurement and ROI.

The move further strengthens iris’ integrated offering, which includes specialist agencies iris PR, iris Experience, iris Direct and iris Digital. iris Sponsorship will be present in all of iris’ offices across Asia, North and Latin America and Europe.

Harris had earlier served on the Formula One Commission and was the mastermind behind Vodafone’s global sponsorship strategy for the last seven years. He had spearheaded the McLaren, Manchester United, Ferrari and UEFA deals, among others, and led the development of Vodafone’s global music and digital media strategy.

Prior to Vodafone, Harris had held various positions at The Coca-Cola Company between 1992 and 2001 and was a Worldwide Director of Sponsorship there from 2000. He also worked at Leo Burnett as Group Manager of International Media between 1989 and 1992 and prior to that had held planning roles at Bozell and Ogilvy & Mather, respectively.

On his new role, Harris said, “During my numerous years in the industry, I’ve not found an agency that can deliver end-to-end sponsorship solutions from strategy through to activation and everything in between. I’m extremely excited to be in a unique position to create a sponsorship agency that offers world-class capability across all spectrums at a global level.”

Ian Millner, Joint CEO of iris Worldwide, said, “We think that clients now need and deserve better and that this category of marketing services is ready to be changed for the better. The sponsorship industry is rife with mediocrity and has been dogged by oversell and underperformance for too long. It’s an opportunity for us to really shake things up and show how rewarding this discipline can be in the marketing mix. We see this as a natural and transformational progression to the work we are already doing in PR, experiential, advertising, retail, digital, consulting and direct.”

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