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Chinese agency Mailman takes controlling interest in European sports consultancy Seven League

Chinese sports digital marketing agency Mailman has taken a controlling interest in European consultancy Seven League in a deal thought to be worth S$18m.

Seven is a sports marketing agency and consultancy that connects a variety of teams and sport governing bodies with fans and sponsors. It lists UEFA, FIFA, the Premier League, Barcelona Football Club, the NBL and NFL as among its clients.

Mailman claimed the acquisition will “create the world’s leading global sports digital agency”.

Mailman chief executive Andrew Collins said the move by sports teams and bodies to build their brands around the globe has opened opportunities for the market.

“As major sporting codes continue to grow internationally, as team brands become more ‘brand centric’, navigating the international digital media platforms and local insights become more important,” he said.

“We hope to deliver a powerful position to our clients and ensure their continued success for years to come.”

Global mergers and acquisitions consultancy SI Partners advised on the deal, with a partner in the business, Alyssiah Ysui describing the agreement as a “first of its kind”.

“With Mailman a China-based agency now expanding globally sets the tone China is now having on the future of sports,” she said.

Sports organisations have been going through a digital transformation for “years”, according to Seven League chief executive Richard Ayers.

“We are helping many of them accelerate through the process, growing audiences, engaging them and benefitting as a result,” he said. “The more we can help deliver success off the sports pitch, the more likely that sport will deliver value back to global society.”

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