Match Marketing Group Acquires Marketing Drive and WELD media

Move Extends Portfolio of Integrated Shopper Marketing Solutions in the U.S.

TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Match Marketing Group, a North American-based shopper marketing solutions provider, announces the acquisition of Norwalk, CT-based Marketing Drive, along with its digital subsidiary, WELD media. The agencies are owned by Chicago-based River North Group and specialize in retail, digital, shopper marketing and consumer promotion services.

The strategic move is part of Match’s ambitious effort to build the most complete end-to-end shopper marketing group in North America with a suite of offerings that include research and insights, campaign development, experiential and event marketing, direct selling and merchandising, and retail operations and management. It also accelerates the firm’s vision to grow its footprint in the U.S.

This is Match’s fifth acquisition this year. This summer, Match acquired three marketing promotion and brand engagement agencies – Action Marketing Group, OSL Marketing Group and Ignite Activation. With the addition of Marketing Drive and WELD media, Match has brought together, under one roof, five companies to form the largest shopper marketing platform in North America. The addition of Marketing Drive’s offices in Norwalk, Boston, Chicago, New York and Bentonville will build upon Match’s existing office in Boulder and help establish a strong U.S. footprint for the company.

“Our goal is to quickly become the top, full service shopper marketing agency in North America,” said Brett Farren, Match Marketing Group president and CEO. “Bringing a top ten U.S. shopper marketing and digital agency into the fold provides us with a strong platform in place to pursue new opportunities, new clients and added market success.”

Michael Harris, president of Marketing Drive (parent of WELD media) commented, “Teaming up with Match Marketing Group will provide significant additional services and capabilities for our clients who can now access a complete range of integrated solutions from one source. We were looking to broaden and deepen our offerings and combining with Match does that in a single bound. The whole organization is orientated around a singular purpose – the relentless pursuit of conversion at every stage of the path through purchase.”

“This move is based on rapidly expanding client needs,” said Perry Miele, chairman of Match Marketing Group and Beringer Capital, which partnered with Match two years ago and provided the capital to complete this acquisition. “Clients are demanding a wider range of resources and a fully integrated solution, exactly what Match has been created to deliver.”

Michael Harris, president of Marketing Drive and Michael LeBeau, CEO of WELD media, will continue to lead their teams as part of the Match Executive Group. Vince Parrinello, CEO of River North Group and Kevin Berg, chairman, will join the board of Match Marketing and will remain actively involved in the business.

“We were able to move quickly thanks to our shared vision, our long-standing working relationship and the alignment of our two cultures,” added Vince Parrinello, CEO of River North Group.

About Match Marketing Group

A leading shopper marketing and brand engagement agency based in Toronto, Match Marketing Group has been delivering innovative below-the-line marketing, sales and retail solutions to North America’s leading brands for over a decade. Its client roster includes Fortune 100 companies across all major industry categories. Clients include Mars, Pepsi, Kraft, Adidas, Ford, Progressive, Energizer, Samsung, Rogers and YUM Brands. To learn more, visit: www.matchmg.com.

About Marketing Drive

Headquartered in Norwalk, CT, with offices in Boston, Chicago and Bentonville, AK, Marketing Drive is a leading promotion, digital and shopper marketing agency driven to develop ideas that generate desire, inspire action, and ultimately, “Create BRAND Demand™” for consumers, shoppers and retailers. Marketing Drive achieves this by combining the art of branding with the science of shopper marketing. Clients include ABSOLUT, Dunkin’ Donuts, ExxonMobil, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Malibu Rum, Novartis, Philips and Welch’s. To learn more, visit www.marketingdrive.com.

About WELD media

Headquartered in Norwalk, CT, WELD media is the digital marketing agency owned by Marketing Drive. The group specializes in helping brands capitalize on today’s Path through Purchase. Clients include CVS, Dannon, Mars and Nestle Waters. To learn more, visit www.weldmedia.com.

About Beringer Capital

Beringer Capital is a private equity firm based in Toronto, Canada, that focuses on the marketing services, specialty media and advertising industries in North America. To learn more, visit www.beringercapital.com.

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