Vero Communications, the sports communications agency that helped Rio de Janeiro and Paris secure hosting rights for the Olympics, has ceased operations.
The move follows the death in 2018 of the London-based agency’s founder and chairman Mike Lee, who had been a familiar figure in the world of Olympic and FIFA World Cup bidding, as well as among a range of international sports federations.
Lee founded Vero in 2006 after being part of London’s winning bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The agency went on to work on successful hosting bids that included Rio 2016, Pyeongchang 2018, and Paris 2024, as well as the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Vero also successfully helped to secure places on the Olympic program for rugby sevens and surfing.
The company left a message on its website stating “Vero Communications is changing” while also providing contact details for its three directors – Heather Rabbatts, Sujit Jasani, and Clair Ashley.
The trio are expected to now go in separate directions. Ashley will continue with rugby union’s international governing body World Rugby, a long-standing client of Vero, while managing director Jasani is working as a consultant for English soccer’s Football Association.
However, GlobalData understands that Vero could relaunch in some capacity as a new entity.
The agency’s recent clients include Baltimore, which is campaigning to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Vero also worked on Riyadh’s bid for the Asian Games, which saw Saudi Arabia’s capital awarded the 2034 edition of the event.