Pitch Marketing Group becomes 100% employee owned

Pitch Marketing Group, a leading integrated marketing agency building brands that people can be passionate about, is delighted to announce that 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. Chappell 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 an impressive 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.

Chappell 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. Chappell 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 Chappell, Chief Executive of Pitch Marketing Group, 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.”

Chris Allen, Managing Director of Pitch Marketing Group, said: “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.”

James de le Vingne, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), said: “We congratulate our members Pitch Marketing Group on its transition to employee ownership; securing the ethos, values and culture of the business, as well as rooting jobs in London. “Businesses that give employees a stake and a say build trust and shared responsibility, uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose, and leaving businesses in a better position to flex and adapt.”

Pitch was advised by Field Fisher, the UK’s leading employee ownership law firm.

For further information please contact Maria Nicolaides, Head of Marketing for Pitch Marketing Group:

About Pitch Marketing Group
Pitch Marketing Group is a full-service integrated agency building brands that people can be passionate about. Pitch, which is based in London’s Soho, has a diversified service offering that includes a creative studio, sponsorship strategy and consultancy, content production, digital marketing and consumer PR. Pitch’s long-term clients includes some of the world’s best brands, including Asics, Beats, BT, EE, Pokemon, Red Bull, Sports Direct; and the world’s biggest sports properties, including the Premier League and Formula 1.
About Employee Ownership

Employee ownership is one of the fastest growing business succession solutions in the UK, where there are now more than 1,000 employee-owned businesses, with the sector more than doubling in the past three years. The fast pace of growth amongst businesses has taken off with the use of the employee ownership trust (EOT), introduced by the government in 2014 to encourage long-term employee ownership, and one in every 20 private company sales is now to an EOT, with Pitch Marketing Group joining a network of EOTs in the UK that include the likes of Aardman, Go Ape, Richer Sounds and Riverford Organic.

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