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Townsend named CEO of GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships (ESP)

28 July, 2011

NEW YORK — Bryce Townsend today was named CEO of GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships (ESP), the entertainment and sports consultancy unit of media services agency parent GroupM.

The announcement was made by Rob Norman, CEO of GroupM North America, who said Townsend succeeds Greg Luckman, who is leaving the company for a senior position at CAA Sports, a unit of Creative Artists Agency.

Townsend is currently Executive Vice President & General Manager, North America for GroupM ESP. He joined the company in 2007 as Senior VP and has held successively more responsible roles until he was appointed to his current position in mid-2010.

In that role he has served as a senior level client advisor while setting the strategic vision for the agency and its marketplace positioning. He has also managed the agency’s financial and staffing operations. With over 12 years of strategic consulting experience, he has developed innovative marketing solutions for a portfolio of blue-chip Fortune 100 brands across numerous categories while leading diverse internal and cross-agency teams in program activation.

“We are fortunate to have an executive of Bryce’s experience and standing in the community to take over for Greg at one of our company’s fastest-growing units,” Norman said. “His experience and his vision will make for a seamless transition while setting the stage for a particularly bright future at GroupM ESP.”

Prior to joining GroupM ESP, Townsend was VP, Account Services, at Momentum Worldwide, IPG’s global sports and entertainment marketing agency, where he was responsible for American Express’ global partnership events portfolio. During his eight-year tenure, he helped lead the creation of broad-scale, multi-channel activation platforms around some of American Express’ largest partnerships including the NBA, US Open Tennis Championships, Tribeca Film Festival, USGA, NCAA, Australian Open, Wimbledon and Radio City Entertainment.

In making the announcement, Norman also praised Luckman for his contributions to GroupM ESP since joining the company in 2007.

“We’re grateful to Greg for putting us in such a strong position in the marketplace,” Norman said. “Don’t forget that GroupM ESP was a nominee for 2010 Corporate Consulting Agency of the Year by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, which is a testament to how far we have come in a short time.”

Townsend, who is based in New York, will report to Norman; his appointment is effective immediately.

A photo of Bryce Townsend is available on request.

GroupM ESP is the Entertainment & Sports Partnership (ESP) consultancy within GroupM, the world's leading network of media agencies, specializing in identifying, developing, negotiating and managing platforms & partnerships on behalf of our clients with entertainment & sports properties and media rights holders. Uniquely positioned at the intersection of media & marketing, GroupM ESP is focused on building our Clients' businesses through strategic consulting & creative ideation.

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.

John Wolfe
Office: +1 212-297-7160
Cell: +1 914-659-8663

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