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Two Circles acquires TRM Partners

TRM was founded by former Manchester United commercial executives Harry Horsley and Leo Thompson as a pioneering, premium white-label sales resource and over the last six years has been responsible for landmark sports sponsorship deals including Yokohama’s record five-year partnership with Chelsea FC, and Visa and Pepsi’s ground-breaking UEFA women’s soccer partnerships.

Since Covid-19 hit this spring, TRM has also secured six deals worth a combined $50m – including Vodafone’s three-year title sponsorship of Test cricket in Australia – and renewed long-term agreements with UEFA, AC Milan and the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team.

Gareth Balch, CEO of Two Circles, said:

“TRM has created a pioneering rights-sales capability, successfully marketing the unique emotion of sport to drive commercial results for rights-owners and record impact for brands. By adding in data-driven, digitally-led rights propositions, we will take sponsorship into a new era. We’ve known for years that sports sponsorship is on the cusp of being rewired. Now we will rewire it.”

Two Circles will integrate TRM within the business through the creation of a Rights Management function that will build on TRM’s core commercial sales offering with the addition of data-driven, digitally-led sponsorship rights propositions that drive significant incremental revenue for sports properties globally. Harry Horsley and Leo Thompson will serve as Co-Presidents of the Two Circles Rights Management vertical.

Harry Horsley and Leo Thompson added:

“By combining our proven sales approach with Two Circles’ delivery of targeted and measurable digital audiences at scale, we’re going to demonstrate – in a more compelling, data-driven way than ever – why sports sponsorship is the most effective marketing channel for brands. Our new marketing proposition will deliver greater impact for brands, and significant incremental revenue for the sports industry.”

Two Circles has also acquired a majority stake in RugbyX, the World Rugby-approved 5v5 format of the sport founded by TRM. RugbyX features men’s and women’s international players competing on an equal platform, with equal pay, and debuted in 2019 at London’s O2 Arena. It will be expanded globally from 2021.

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