Omnicom’s TBWA acquires leading UK sports creative agency, Dark Horses – further enhancing its brand experience expertise in the UK

April 9, 2023

TBWA\Worldwide, part of Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC), today announces the acquisition of one of the UK’s leading creative agencies for the world of sport, in a deal designed to add significant new depth to the UK group’s expertise across the total brand experience.

The highly acclaimed, award-winning independent agency, Dark Horses, led by CEO Melissa Robertson, ECD, Steve Howell and Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Readman, prides itself on breaking away from the field and has an enviable roster of clients bridging sport, fitness, health and wellbeing.

Full of sports fanatics, Dark Horses uses its deep strategic acumen alongside its creativity to get under the skin of fandom, delivering standout rigour and brand expertise in the field of sports marketing. Their work includes supporting major sponsorship deals for global brand, Nissan, helping TikTok reach new audiences through their relationship with UEFA EURO 2020, creating Shelter’s #NoHomeKit which encourages football clubs to give up their home kit in aid of all those without a place to call home, and launching Peloton to the UK market.

Dark Horses has a strong presence in the industry, often leading conversations on issues affecting sport and communications. In 2022, the team created ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing Women’s Sport‘ – a practical guide on how to properly promote women’s sport as it strives for parity on and off the field.

CEO Melissa Robertson believes now is the right time to join the TBWA family. “This is an exciting deal that supports our boutique culture as independent, curious creatives, at the same time as providing the scale that can turn us into a truly global business. We work with some of the most influential sports organisations in the world, so it’s thrilling to imagine what we can do with the reach of TBWA’s 11,000 strong collective.”

From brand creation and brand platforms, through to on-the-ground activation, strategy and social content; as well as PR, sponsorship and influencer marketing, the agency works far beyond the confines of traditional sports marketing, making them the perfect fit for TBWA. Global CEO, Troy Ruhanen, added; “We’ve been watching Dark Horses for some time. As a collection of best-in-class agencies at the top of their game, we’re always looking for those deep specialists that complement us and add significant expertise to the total brand experience of our clients. I’m excited to see what growth they can unlock across the board.”

To learn more about Dark Horses visit

To learn more about TBWA, visit

About Dark Horses

Dark Horses is a sports creative agency. Launched in the summer of 2016 it brings together the business of sport and creativity with a vision for a braver and more effective marketing of sport. Built on foundations of strategic rigour and creative firepower, it exists to help brands operating in sport break away from the field and re-shape the boundaries of sports marketing.

About TBWA\Worldwide

TBWA is The Disruption® Company. We use creativity to help businesses challenge the status quo and capture an unfair share of the future. Named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019, Adweek’s 2022, 2021 and 2018 Global Agency of the Year and AdAge’s A-List 2022 Network of the Year. We are a disruptive brand experience company that uses Disruption® to help businesses address their challenges and achieve transformative growth. Our collective has 11,000+ creative minds in over 40 countries, and also includes brands such as Auditoire, eg+ worldwide, GMR, The Integer Group®, TBWA\Media Arts Lab, Juice Network, Be Grizzlee and TRO. Global clients include adidas, Apple, Gatorade, Henkel, Hilton Hotels, McDonald’s, Nissan and Singapore Airlines. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. TBWA is part of Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC).


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