ndp And Free Agents Marketing Combine Forces To Focus On Growth

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Two Richmond-based advertising agencies are joining forces with Tuesday's announcement that ndp has agreed in principle to acquire Free Agents Marketing later this fall, creating a firm with an expanded regional portfolio and footprint with offices in Roanoke, Hampton Roads, and Chattanooga. 

"Combining two of Richmond's biggest names in advertising and marketing is a 'win-win' in both talent and expertise while providing the additional resources to fuel our growth," said Daniel Fell, president and CEO of ndp. "Clients today want agencies that can make a difference by bringing creative ideas that inspire from an integrated approach at which both agencies excel. Clients of the combined companies will enjoy having a larger team of professionals and the award-winning capabilities and resources they need to ignite their marketing and advertising programs.” 

As examples, Mr. Fell cited FAM’s multi-faceted work in financial services, hospitality, retail, healthcare, and real estate development for clients such as Guest Services, The Royal Group, UC Health, Boost Promotional Branding, CapCenter, Norfolk's Waterside District, The Port of Virginia, and LifeNet Health. 

FAM principal Ken Wayland will join ndp as an executive vice president. He was recognized by the Richmond Ad Club in 2014 as Ad Person of the Year, an honor ndp principals Roger Neathawk and Susan Dubuque received in 2016. 

And the similarities don't end there. Both Mr. Wayland and Mr. Fell say there is a synergy among the respective firms as their emphasis is taking pride in providing relevant, results oriented, creatively driven work; dedicated account service and account planning; and media strategy, planning, and placement. 

"The partnership provides our clients with a deeper bench of smart, talented people, all part of our goal to continue to attract growing brands with national aspirations," said Mr. Fell.  "FAM is a successful agency with a diverse client base that nicely complements our own growth and integrated capabilities." 

The combined staff in Richmond will move to ndp's new location in the Scott's Addition section of the city by the end of the year. 

Both agencies take pride in their commitment to the community. Mr. Fell serves on numerous boards including Maymont, the renowned 100-acre landmark estate, while Mr. Wayland is on the board of both the Hampton Chamber and Chamber RVA; a past chair of the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia; and past chair of Richmond's Retail Merchants Association. 

FAM's rebranding of the Hampton Roads Chamber (formerly the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce) in 2016 received regional recognition for the agency. 

"We understand the importance of having a leadership role within the business community, so that we can fully understand the challenges our clients face, and how to best partner with them in finding the best creatively driven solutions," said Mr. Wayland. 

"The strong partnership of spirited, like-minded agencies like FAM and ndp is a boon for colleagues, clients and the community," he added. "This unique collaboration will enable the newly integrated agency to accelerate momentum for growth, attracting a more diverse array of clients, and supporting them in achieving their goals and objectives." 

"The whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts," agrees Mr. Fell. "Both agencies were doing very good work individually and now collectively can achieve even more to create a leading agency." 


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