By Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal
Wasserman Media Group has opened a new office in Dubai that will focus on corporate consulting and events in golf, and potentially other sports.
David Collins, an Englishman who has six years of agency experience in the United Arab Emirates, joined Wasserman last week and will lead the new UAE office. He will carry the title of senior vice president.
The intention, according to Wasserman principal Malcolm Turner, is to develop more global sports marketing business, primarily in the Middle East, from this Dubai office.
Without getting into specifics, Turner said the office will open with “a firm base of business in golf and will be building out an appropriate staff to service it.”
Wasserman’s new business will be in the areas of corporate consulting, event management and athlete representation and marketing.
Turner, who oversaw the formation of the new UAE site, said Wasserman UAE will seek new business “in golf and beyond,” including media rights, soccer and other sports.
“This is a Wasserman office, not a Wasserman Golf office,” Turner said.
Most of Collins’ experience has been centered in golf. At WSM Communications and previously Leisurecorp, he contributed to several high-profile initiatives, including the European Tour’s seasonlong “Race to Dubai” and Rory McIlroy’s endorsement deal with Jumeirah Hotels, which expired last season when Nike took a head-to-toe position with the golfer.
Collins was employed from 2000 to 2008 at Octagon, where he worked on golf accounts for MasterCard, HSBC and Coca-Cola, among others.
Opening an office in Dubai continues Wasserman’s push to establish a more global presence. The company’s primary offices outside of the U.S. are in London, Singapore, São Paulo and Mumbai.
“We see prospects for real business in Dubai and, more broadly, the UAE,” Turner said. “This is not a speculative undertaking, as there is a true business underpinning to this venture. And in David, we have an ideal partner to lead the growth of our business. He’s built a nice relationship base in the region.”
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SportsBusiness Journal, February 24, 2014