Horizon Media - Evergreen Trading

Dec 20, 2010 - the media and marketing rights to various sporting events, and ... agencies for cheaper rates, said one search consultant, the compa-.
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DECEMBER 20, 2010 VOL. 20 NO. 45 $3.99



Horizon Media

BILL KOENIGSBERG President, CEO and founder



The media buying


KOEHIGSBER President, CEO and founder

business is in many ways the antithesis of the personality-driven ad agency business -sometimes seen as a back-office, procurement function run by anonymous bureaucrats. And then there is Bill Koenigsberg-so ebullient, voluble, cocky and charismatic that he seems to be steering his company, Horizon, the largest independent media agency, out of the media buying business. Indeed, he is creating something that starts to feel like a hybrid of media buying and media making. His new initiatives to this end have included a sports market ing operation and a division that helps clients dispose of underperformance assets in exchange for advertising. Up next: a new joint venture with as-yet named partners that will focus solely on helping clients to devise new ad placement techniques in traditional and emerging media. The last big indie standing has had a very good year. At a time when other media shops have been forced to scale back, total client billings for Horizon, Koenigsberg's 21-year-old shop, are up 30 percent to $2.5 billion-more than twice the amount of any other independent media agency_ And the shop won a handful of marquee accounts including Dish TV, Corona and Weight Watchers. The CEO,

also is moving into a 150,000 -square-foot space in downtown Manhattan that will consolidate its four offices around the city. Koenigsberg's decision to reinvest and build had much to do with the agency's revenue growth. In 2009. when the recession was raging, Horizon increased revenue by 5 percent. This year, its up 27 percent to $135 million, according to sources. (Koenigsberg won't confirm the company's numbers.) Of the several new units launched this year, the dive into sports-still in its planning stages-seems, on the surface, the most surprising, For a company whose clients include major sports advertisers (for instance, Geico, which along with NBC has been a client for over two decades, and Corona), it's actually a calculated land grab, Horizon plans to represent talent, acquire the media and marketing rights to various sporting events, and


orizons It proves you don't need $20 Nihon to be a success.'

OLIVER MALETZ Ewp, managing partner

EVA HANTROWITZ Evp, managing partnie

AGENCY HIGHLIGHTS Total client biilings.up 30% in 2010 to "..,„?.ei b11 11 17• -

New clialts include °is •Network Comm, We ig Watchers and Lifetime._ -

in fact, is feeling confident-so much so that he's making a series of radical moves into diverse arenas like sports talent representation and event marketing. His goal is to continue doing more of what he's been doing: grabbing market share from the holding company agencies. Koenigsberg's success has fueled endless speculation that he'll sell the company, speculation he doesn't dismiss while hedging on the timing. "Someday but I can't tell you if that someday is next year or 10 years from now, Right now I'm trying to understand where the media world is -RUSSEL WOHLWERTH, ARK ADVISORS going to be a month from now and a month after that," he says. With marketers pressuring media agencies for cheaper rates, said one search consultant, the company was shrewd to offer additional services "so it doesn't get squeezed on compensation." Koenigsberg, a one-time collegiate tennis player, founded the agency in 1989. He has invested roughly $50 million over the past two years, launching new services, adding staff and strengthening existing operations such as digital-where it added social media, search and customer relationship marketing expertise-and research, where it expanded its consumer insights group. The shop