TBWA, the advertising firm owned by Omnicom Group, has acquired UK-based sports-focused agency Dark Horses.
It says the deal is "designed to add significant new depth to the UK group's expertise across the total brand experience."
TBWA intends to use Dark Horses for brand creation, on-the-ground activation, social content, PR, sponsorship, and influencer marketing.
Dark Horses, which is led by chief executive Melissa Robertson, executive creative director Steve Howell, and chief strategy officer Matt Readman, has a roster of clients across sport, fitness, health, and wellbeing.
Its past work includes sponsorship deals for car manufacturer Nissan, helping TikTok with its work for the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, creating homelessness charity Shelter's #NoHomeKit campaign, and helping launch Peloton in the UK market.
In 2022, the team wrote The Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing Women's Sport, a guide on how to – or not to – promote women's sport.
Dark Horses chief executive Melissa Robertson said: “This is an exciting deal that supports our boutique culture as independent, curious creatives, at the same time as providing the scale that can turn us into a truly global business.
“We work with some of the most influential sports organizations in the world, so it's thrilling to imagine what we can do with the reach of TBWA's 11,000-strong collective."
TBWA chief executive, Troy Ruhanen, added: "We’re always looking for those deep specialists that complement us and add significant expertise to the total brand experience of our clients. I'm excited to see what growth they can unlock across the board."