Young Agency of the Year

Young Agency of the Year

Dark Horses

We are Dark Horses. A new model creative agency for the modern sporting world.

By marrying the firepower and strategic rigour of a creative agency with the cultural and commercial expertise of a sports marketing agency, we are shaking up the industry with a blend of creativity, culture and clever thinking.

We would say that though, wouldn’t we? But our increased revenue, headcount, client base, organic growth numbers and creative output gives us the confidence to make the claim.

We are breaking the rules of what traditional sports agencies do, impacting culture not just tapping into it; this year building our own in-house production studio, establishing a proprietary research department specialising in fan culture, and perhaps most courageously, launching our very own sports nutrition product.

As the traditional sponsorship models of the past shift, these are the new battlegrounds where the agencies of the future will stand out.

Fifty Digital

Fifty Digital is the fastest growing and award winning digital and social media agency in sponsorship and sport.

Working with brands, teams, rights holders and athletes in sport, Fifty Digital use best-in-class social media, digital strategy, content and creative turbocharged by data-driven insight to reach, engage and monetise audiences.

Fifty Digital delivered the social media, content, creative and planning for the two most engaged sporting events in 2019 - the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Started by two ex-Mercedes Formula One Team employees in a Soho coffee shop less than  four years ago, Fifty Digital now has 32 employees working across some of the most prestigious clients in sport.

Fifty Digital was shortlisted for Young Agency of the Year at the Sport Industry Awards in both 2018 and 2019. We hope to go one better by winning the Award in 2020.

Fifty-Three Six

Fifty-Three Six was founded in late 2016 on the back of an opportunity being identified around branded content in the sports arena and the distribution of that content.

With backgrounds in the NBA and Twitter, co-founders Marcus and Tom saw that fans were being left short with the quality of video being produced in the sport industry and there was a knowledge gap in how to effectively distribute it.

Working with both rights owners and holders, an opportunity was identified early on in the business to not only distribute content but to also use it to deliver meaningful results for clients and drive tangible sales. The mantra of the business became: We Convert Fans into Customers.

Three years on, Fifty-Three Six has developed into a full service sports marketing agency with 12 employees, 39 clients across the UK and Ireland and over 70% revenue growth for two years running.

Halfspace

Halfspace are a new form of agency who utilise cutting edge data harnessed with a full-service marketing team to generate value for rights holders, brands and sponsors in sport & entertainment.

The Halfspace team is made up of senior executives from the worlds of sport and digital with an extended team of 55 across an exclusive set of independent agencies working together to turn data into results.

With over 12 months of testing before launch, Halfspace ensured it would be an agency that catered for clients that had two critical issues. Firstly, an understanding of data far beyond CRM and into device ID's, data enrichment, algorithms and more. Secondly, a team that understood how to take the resulting data into the marketing disciplines of Creative (design, branding & ideation), Content Production & Media Planning + Buying.

The founders are Sanjit Atwal - former co-founder & CEO of Squawka, and Rory Maxwell - formerly of IMG & Mediacom Sport.

MOX

Built on simple principles - great work and great people, MOX is a next generation agency striving to deliver their clients culture not collateral.

In a world where the tired big agency model is dead, MOX is fast becoming a hotbed for the best creative talent in the country and their growth and client roster reflects this.

MOX's refreshing and unique approach from creative all the way through to production and delivery means they’re giving their clients bigger results and industry leading work.

The Playbook

The Playbook were founded in the summer of 2016 with two lead clients (ECB and NFL) and a mission to create game changing communications, content and campaigns for the world’s most ambitious brands.

In the past three years The Playbook have partnered with some of the biggest names in world sport including NFL UK, UFC, LaLiga and INEOS helping them answer their most important strategic and commercial questions with insight and creativity.

2019 saw growth to 18 staff and 12 clients, 90% key staff retention, the launch of a new Studio and Insight team, a bigger internship programme, a new well-being programme with flexible working and a move to brand new Playbook offices.