New data-led agency Halfspace makes quantum leap with Oakwell investment

Oakwell Capital, the specialist corporate advisory service for the sports and media technology sector, has invested into Halfspace, the Signals & Engagement Agency for the sports, music and entertainment industries. The agency, which has been in beta for six months, has successfully rolled out a unique offering of audience data science coupled with brand strategy, content production and paid media services.

Oakwell will join as directors whilst also driving governance and financial oversight functions for Halfspace, which is already in profit.

Ex-Squawka co-founder Sanjit Atwal created the full-service agency with a view to bringing his media, technology and creative expertise to rights holders, clubs and brands in the sports industry. The team believe that, having tested the integrated offering with several London-based football clubs and clients across cycling and motorsports, that the industry is now mature enough for a wide-scale rollout.

“Compared to the finance, retail and travel sectors, the sport industry actually has a lot of ground to make up when thinking about data, audiences and campaigns,” said CEO Sanjit Atwal, who ran eCommerce marketing for brands such as Dell, Natwest and LastMinute.com whilst at performance marketing network TradeDoubler. “There are undoubted opportunities to create far more value for fans, results & transparency for brands/sponsors and ultimately drive sustainable growth for clubs, rights holders and sports organizations. Halfspace has been built to help solve these issues through advanced data intelligence coupled with creative and activation expertise.”

Andrew Umbers, principle of Oakwell Capital and former chairman of Leeds United football club, said of the new agency, “the Halfspace proposition is truly innovative and something the sports industry desperately needs to grow. The team has fantastic experience and, together with the Oakwell expertise and connections in sport, we look forward to being part of what we believe will be a hugely successful venture.”

Chief Operating Officer Rory Maxwell joins Halfspace from Oakwell Capital having previously worked at WPP-owned Mediacom and industry giant IMG. Speaking about the Halfspace services he said, “an integration of advanced audience data, alongside specialist activation services in creativity and distribution is unique. We are already helping several clients understand more about their fanbases, their addressable market, and in implementing the activation campaigns that will greatly enhance revenue opportunities. This agency has been designed for the modern communication demands of sports, media and entertainment clients.”

Central to the Halfspace offering is the data and audience science division – dubbed ‘Quantum’. “I’m incredibly excited by our data advances,” Atwal said, “we believe that the Quantum proposition is the most advanced on the market and, with GDPR at the fore-front of our thinking, will provide huge value to clubs and rights holders. Its important to recognize the responsibility of working with 1st party data and to always respect and honour fans that have chosen to submit personal information – its in the DNA of both our offering and our business.”

Other executives involved include Stephen Schindler, formerly of IPG Global, European Championships and International Sports Management and former Wasps Rugby CEO David Armstrong who is also non-Executive Director at World Athletic Championships.

About author

Daniel McLaren
Daniel McLaren 819 posts

Dan is the Founder & CEO of Digital Sport. Can be found at sports industry events and heard every week on the Digital Sport Insider podcast. @DanielMcLaren

You might also like

Daily Digest: Real Madrid learning to think like a digital media company and DAZN to broadcast World Cup highlights in Germany

Real Madrid going from sports team to media company, Facebook allows live rewind and DAZN to show World Cup highlights in Germany.

Man United the perfect example of using GDPR law to reinforce bond between club and fans

With GDPR legislation coming into effect next month, Manchester United are the perfect example of how to use the change in the law to foster the “covenant of trust” between clubs and fans.

The Two Sports: Promoting women in sport beyond This Girl Can

On International Women’s Day, it’s important to remember that there are two sides to the sports business: tracksuits and suits. In order to promote diversity and women in sport, we need to bear that in mind.