Leading sports-specialist marketing agency that worked on London 2012 Olympics transitions to employee ownership

Pitch Marketing Group, a leading integrated marketing agency building brands that people can be passionate about, has announced it has transitioned ownership of the business to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), enabling its employees to have greater involvement in the future success of the business, and to ensure the long-term growth of the agency.

Pitch was founded by Henry Chappell in 2002, with the backing of Freud Communications. The agency was one of the UK’s first sports-specialist comms agencies, and established itself as a market leader in the sector through its high-profile work for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Henry bought out Freud’s minority shareholding in 2012, and has since successfully broadened and diversified the agency’s service offering into the consumer sector. Pitch now provides a wide range of strategic and creative marketing services for a portfolio of brand clients including Asics, BT, Beats, Red Bull and Sports Direct; as well as for leading global sports properties such as Formula 1 and the Premier League.

Henry has transferred all shares to Pitch’s Employee Ownership Trust as part of the company’s aim to remain independent and allow investment in future growth plans. He remains fully committed to the agency and will continue in his role as Chief Executive, working together with Pitch’s Managing Director, Chris Allen, to lead the business.

Through the Trust, Pitch’s 40-plus employees will indirectly own a 100% stake in the business. The structure will see the current leadership team that includes Financial Director Alex Harrington joined by an elected employee group representing staff across the company.

Henry said: “I am incredibly proud of what Pitch has achieved over the past 21 years, and it is all due to the amazing people who have worked at the agency. As we look ahead, with the aim of building an agency that can continue to grow for another 20 years, we felt that the employee ownership model would give us the best platform for our staff to thrive, to allow the agency to further invest in our creative capabilities, and to ensure we can stay at the top of our game by continuing to create the best possible work for our clients. It’s an exciting new era for Pitch.”

Managing Director Chris added: “Our ambitious people and their passion for the work we do are the reason why we have managed to maintain such long-term relationships with so many leading brands. As an employee owned business, we are delighted that we will be able to give everyone the opportunity to share in the success of the business moving forwards.

“We’ve always been a pioneering business that has never stood still, and we’re proud that this development will set us apart as the first agency in the sports and entertainment sector to be employee owned. Nobody embodies the passion, ambition and creativity of Pitch more than Henry, and I am incredibly excited about continuing to work together with him on our future growth plans.”

Pitch was advised by employee ownership law firm Fieldfisher.

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