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Cardiff-based agency Populate Social acquired by The MISSION Group

Influence Sports & Media - Credit James Moy

The MISSION Group plc continues to invest in sports marketing and social media through the acquisition of Influence Sports & Media and Populate Social by its leading entertainment, sports, lifestyle and marketing agency Mongoose Group.

Influence Sports & Media and Populate Social will retain their brands and identities, and form an integral part of the newly created Mongoose Group, joining Mongoose Sports & Entertainment and ALIVE Brand Experience.

This marks the latest step in the Mongoose Group’s growth strategy, expanding its integrated communications offering, and scaling its social media and marketing capabilities across the sports and entertainment markets.

Influence Sports & Media, based in London, with a strong presence in the US, is a specialist sports marketing agency that has a prestigious record of working with the world’s leading brands and properties in sport. The agency offers strategic consultancy, commercial sales, partnership activation, PR & communications and content creation. The team has a wealth of experience and long-standing relationships in motor sport, sailing and pro-cycling, bringing expertise from the highest echelons of world sport to the Group – including the flagship events of Formula 1, the America’s Cup and the Tour de France.

Based in Cardiff, Populate’s 20-strong team of social media experts pride themselves on a forward-thinking approach, full transparency, and data-driven results. The agency has a strong track record of pushing boundaries with paid media campaigns, organic social media management, social strategy, content creation, messenger bots and TikTok/social content packages.  Clients include England Rugby, Live Nation, and Paris Fashion Week amongst many others.

Alistair Watkins, Founder & CEO of Influence Sports & Media, said: “Over the last 10 years we have continued to build our presence in sport, delivering best-in-class services for leading global brands, teams and properties. Formula 1 and the America’s Cup are both key pillars of the agency, and it is a hugely exciting time as both properties are seeing exponential growth and interest around the world. We are delighted to be joining MISSION Group plc and the newly formed Mongoose Group to drive international opportunities and offer a greater breadth of services for all our clients.”

Dan Simmons, Founder at Populate Social, said: “After seven years of growing Populate I am delighted to have found the right partner with Mongoose Group to elevate the offering and bring our social media specialism to a global roster of brands and rights holders in the world of sports and entertainment.”

Chris O’Donoghue, CEO at Mongoose Group, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Alistair, Dan and the Influence Sports and Populate teams to MISSION and the Mongoose Group as we build our offering for clients globally. Populate will transform our social delivery as part of all our integrated Client campaigns. Influence Sports and Mongoose Sports & Entertainment (MSE) are highly complementary – Influence Sports will lead on all projects ‘on track’ and ‘on water’ and MSE will continue driving on ball sports, outdoor sports, venues and charities.”

James Clifton, Chief Executive Officer of MISSION Group plc, said: “In challenging times, MISSION continues to make good progress against our strategic priorities. Our latest investment in our leading entertainment, sports, lifestyle and Marketing agency Mongoose Group, through the acquisition of Influence Sports & Media and Populate Social, is yet another example of our commitment to developing our capabilities and client servicing offering, ensuring the Group is well placed for long-term growth.”