Longtime media executive David Levi and Chris Weil launched a new marketing agency together Horizon Mediathis one is aimed at capitalizing on the shift they see has taken place for sports advertising.
Horizon Sports & Experiences (HS&E) plans to focus on marketing beyond TV ads and in-stadium signage, which Levy calls “table tattoos.” Instead, it will look to create opportunities around new events, IP creation and experiential marketing—both in the physical world and in the metaverse.
Levy, former president of Turner Broadcasting, and Weil, chairman of Momentum Worldwide, will serve as co-CEOs and equity partners, along with Horizon Media.
“It’s not going to be a standard 30-second TV spot,” Levy said in an interview. “And the timing couldn’t be better. Private equity firms are investing heavily in sports franchises, new leagues are being formed and NIL rights are here. This space is growing fast, and they need companies like us.
The group will not start from scratch. It absorbed part of Horizon’s portfolio, including more than 30 employees and an existing client base. His horizon newly launched metaverse consultancy, Chapter & Verse, will become part of HS&E’s business—as will lifestyle agency Horizon. Scouting Sports and Entertainment. Michael Neuman, who runs Scout, will serve as executive vice president at HS&E.
The agency’s goal is to combine the expertise of three backers: Levy in content creation and sales, Weil in experiential marketing, and Horizon CEO/founder Bill Koenigsberg in brand building. Citing examples of things HS&E can do, Levy mentioned The Match, a golf franchise he helped create at Turner. The match launched in 2018 using a new IP, with media partners, corporate sponsorships and buy-in from the sport’s biggest stars. The seventh iteration will take place next month.
Levy, who founded sports consulting and investment firm Back Nine Ventures, spent nearly three decades at Turner parent Time Warner, where he ran the company’s portfolio of networks, ad sales, and distribution. He also oversaw Turner Sports from 2003 until his departure in 2019. He is currently chairman of Genius Sports (NYSE: FIRE) and will remain in that role.
Weil spent two decades as chairman and CEO of Momentum until his final departure. While he held that role, the agency grew from two offices to 30 global locations, eventually managing more than $5 billion in sponsor assets. Weil said in a statement that the industry needs an agency that can mix traditional marketing with new opportunities Web3catchall term for the decentralized future of the internet, including blockchain technology.
“Given the fundamental changes in consumer attitudes and behaviors that continue to drive the evolution of brand experiences—both physical and digital—I believe Web3 will become the ‘Web experience,'” Weil said. “So we’re building a company that will be the leader in Web3 monetization in this mixed physical-digital world.”
HS&E’s launch coincides with Horizon’s recent expansion. In a few months the company opened a new consulting firm called Green Thread, and bought a control stake at digital experience agency First Tube Media, which will work with HS&E.