Ear to the Ground takes new strategic direction

Jon Drape (L) and Steve Smith (R)
Jon Drape (L) and Steve Smith (R)

Agency Ear to the Ground has realigned its business model to focus exclusively on connecting brands with sport and music fans.

The move has been supported with a major investment, which has led to the opening of a new office in London, a refit of the Manchester HQ and the launch of a new operation in Rio to capitalise on the advent of the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

The agency hopes the "new vision" will help clients like Samsung, Manchester City and Red Bull better understand the motivation and psyche of modern fans.
 
A new research and insight department, Fanatic, will act as a resource to road test concepts, evaluate projects and to help identify the emotional drivers that connect and differentiate sport and music fans.

A series of events known as Fanatic Live will bring together leading academics and cultural commentators to discuss what it means to be a fan and how to connect with them more effectively.  
 
Steve Smith, managing director of Ear to the Ground, said: "This is the most exciting thing I have been involved in since we launched the agency nearly ten years ago.

"Connecting brands with sport and music is really fine tuning our offer and focusing on everything we have learnt over the last decade. 2013 is going to be an incredible year of growth for us."

The team recently partnered with Liverpool University on a research project entitled ‘Fandom: Motivations, Characteristics and Special Features of Sport and Music Fans’ which uncovered the underlying drivers of fan psychology and looked at the implications for brands looking to connect with them.

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