Founded in 2004, Revolution Sports Marketing Group – a global integrated sports and lifestyle marketing agency – has come a long way since its relatively humble beginnings from a small office on the Duke of Norfolk’s farm estate in the quintessentially picturesque town of Arundel in West Sussex. On reflection, the fledgling but ambitious agency was always destined to outgrow its countryside roots and head for the big city lights.
Just two and a half years later in 2006, on the back of two major, international new business wins, the agency’s co-founders, Merrick Haydon and Rod Kohler, took the strategic decision to relocate rEvolution and its three employees to a converted former paper mill located on London’s up and coming South Bank. The move had its drawbacks, notably much longer commutes for Merrick and Rod from Sussex and Surrey respectively, and the team having to sacrifice lunchtime runs through the Sussex Downs with rEvolution’s two office dogs; but it was a natural progression and heralded a new beginning, which firmly put the agency on the map, not just in London, but globally.
Almost 13 years later, and those closest to rEvolution look back on some incredibly exciting and successful times, which were tinged with more than just a touch of sadness. Most significantly, rEvolution celebrated the acquisition by its now Chicago-based parent company – rEvolution – in September 2018, but those linked to the agency also mourned the loss of Rod, who died just six months earlier.
During its time in London, rEvolution has embraced several office moves, including to Hatfields SE1 in 2008 and Vauxhall SE11 in 2016. But its move in 2012 to Buckingham Palace Road SW1W was of real significance, not least because it was during London’s Olympic year when rEvolution tasted its first Olympic work across two sports with Handball and Equestrian Show Jumping.
Then on 22 July 2019 – after a lot of sweat, a few tears, a slice of luck and a collective US-UK vision – the 14-strong agency (15 including cocker spaniel, Ernie) finds itself back on the South Bank in a 36-desk, 1,099 square foot office on the fifth floor of WeWork’s newly developed, 16-storey building at 10 York Road located adjacent to the iconic Shell Building directly behind the London Eye.
“The move has been a long time coming, but it was well and truly worth the wait. While the London space isn’t custom created, there are some uncanny resemblances between 10 York Road and rEvolution Chicago’s 210 N. Carpenter offices, which the US team moved into in December 2018,” commented rEvolution UK’s Managing Director, Merrick Haydon.
Haydon continued, “And everything is very much in-line with the global rEvolution brand and vision, and it’s proved to be another big step towards aligning with our US colleagues. The move was a real statement of intent, as we look to grow over the next few years. The team and I owe a big thank you to John Rowady [rEvolution’s CEO and Founder] for making this move possible.”
As well as the extensive dedicated meeting rooms and ‘phone booths’ (two-seater, sound-proof pods) throughout the building, the team now has access to multiple breakout areas, which serve complimentary teas, coffees, fruit, biscuits and – after 15.00 every day – free beer and cider on tap!
Bella Ireland, Account Executive at rEvolution, very much speaks on behalf of the London team, and said: “I am absolutely loving our new offices, it has such a fantastic vibe and there’s always so much going on, from free Monday morning breakfast to meditation sessions at lunch! It’s also great being in Waterloo – it feels like we’re in the heart of London with so many great restaurants, bars and venues on South Bank. The new office itself is beautiful and being in such a bright and modern building is so refreshing. The whole team has settled in nicely, and it’s already starting to feel like our home!”
The state-of-the-art building’s ground floor lobby boasts a barista serving complimentary coffee between 08.00-16.00, a DJ and retro Konami games, while the focal point is undoubtedly the skateboarding half-pipe. Elsewhere in the building, there’s a Speakeasy on the ninth floor, a 150-seater auditorium on the ninth floor, and a bar, pizzeria and cinema on the 16th floor roof terrace, which has panoramic views of London’s skyline. Upon seeing a video diary of 10 York Road, John Rowady said: “Is this a place of work or a place of play?!?! Wow. Impressive. And, totally rEvolution!”
rEvolution is incredibly proud to call 10 York Road its London HQ, and the team is looking forward to welcoming as many of rEvolution’s many clients and friends from all over the world to its new home.
rEvolution is an independent, fully integrated sports marketing agency comprised of industry experts in consulting and business strategy alongside marketing and creative specialists who produce award-winning sponsorship and marketing campaigns for brands and rights holders throughout the global sports industry. Founded in 2001 with a focus on representing brands in sport, rEvolution’s global headquarters is in Chicago with its international office based in London. rEvolution’s unique intersection of strategy, creative and analytics helps brands drive business through sports, providing clients with a suite of integrated services, including sponsorship consulting, media planning and buying, creative, production and design, experiential marketing, hospitality, public relations, social media, research and analytics. Client partners include Continental Tire, SAS, Chipotle, Land Rover and Shell. Learn more at www.revolutionworld.com.