One of Birmingham’s best known creative agencies is “dipping its toe” in the capital in preparation for a major month for the company during London 2012.
S&X Media, which is based in Jewellery Quarter, has taken space in London’s ‘creative quarter’ as it prepares to support its clients New Balance and Speedo and the forthcoming sporting extravaganza.
“We have been looking for space in London for some time as we are in London much more and during the Olympics we are going to be operating down there as a team for the whole month,” said managing director Paul Phedon.
“With our increasing presence down there we felt we needed some space to work from so we have been looking around and found a place in Shoreditch which really goes with our brand.”
Associate director Jo Green, who was in Beijing for S&X during the last Olympics, said the location was the perfect fit for the company.
She said: “We are in a building where there’s a real synergy with other companies with design agencies and a real digital vibe.
“While the space is ours, at the moment it won’t be permanently staffed but will be somewhere to work from and to take clients. We are also on a recruitment drive at the moment and looking at candidates in London as well as Birmingham so it is useful to have a base down there. We can scale up or down but first things first we thought it was important to dip our two in and see what happens.”
The company currently has eight full time staff – including Mr Phedon and Ms Green – who focus on PR and marketing while they are supported by a team of trusted freelancers – from web designers to videographers – who they employ on a project by project basis. And while the company’s HQ will remain in Vittoria Street and its heart remains in the second city, its focus has long been much further afield.
“This move doesn’t mean we are not interested in local and regional work – far from it – but the reality is that much of our work is now national and international,” said Ms Green. “We have recently been appointed by dance group Motionhouse which is based in Leamington but its Scattered show went to China and is off to the US next year – it is a local company doing global work and that is how we see ourselves.”
The company will be down in London during the Olympics working with two of its main clients, Speedo and New Balance, who, while not official sponsors at the event, will have a significant presence through their involvement with athletes involved.
In 2008 S&X were in Beijing with Speedo which had a massive games after Michael Phelps won a host of gold medals in its LZR suit and Mr Phedon said they were prepared for another manic month in London.
He said: “There will be tens of thousands of journalists at the games and what they are looking for is content and that’s what we are hoping to provide, be it through the athletes and coaches or getting the media to try the products and there will also be a number of initiatives and announcements during the games.”
S&X recently delivered New Balance’s ‘Made In The UK’ event, marking the running brand’s 30th anniversary of domestic manufacturing in Britain with an event in the capital that saw the unveiling of ‘The British Miler’, a campaign following seven New Balance sponsored 1,500m athletes as they attempt to qualify for the British team. It also worked with production company KIMbia Athletics to secure a 12-part series of 30 minute documentaries on Sky Sports for the project, which started on April 30.
As well as the company’s success attracting and delivering for clients, S&X Media has also been accepted on Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme, which Mr Phedon believes marks an exciting new chapter for the company as it will benefit from a business and management education scheme designed by experts in entrepreneurial learning and delivered in the Midlands in partnership with Aston Business School.
And while the Goldman Sachs scheme, the London office and the recruitment drive mark a new era for the company, Mr Phedon said its philosophy for success will remain the same.
“Our focus is on lifestyle, sport, retail, culture, the arts, food and drink – everything we do focuses on that world for one simple reason, because we like it and you just have to do stuff you enjoy.”