Dentsu launches sports arm in the region

From L to R: Ahmad Haidar, Managing Director, dentsu KSA Olaf Borutz, Vice President of Commercial Development, DSI MENA Echo Li, Chief Commercial Officer, DSI Global Charlie Wylie, Managing Director, DSI EMEA

Dentsu has launched dentsu Sports International (DSI) in the region. 

With a strategic focus on enhancing sports marketing and analytics services, the establishment of DSI in the MENA region marks a significant milestone in its commitment to servicing clients in this growing market. 

DSI MENA will be headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with additional offices in the UAE.

It will include core businesses including dentsu Sports International Commercial, MKTG Sports + Entertainment and dentsu Sports Analytics.

This integrated approach will enable dentsu to provide end-to-end solutions across multiple services including commercial development, strategic consultancy, rights delivery and data-driven analytics. 

In line with this expansion, DSI is pleased to welcome Olaf Borutz as the Vice President of Commercial Development, reporting into dentsu Sports International’s Global Chief Commercial Officer, Echo Li. 

With a wealth of experience in the sports industry, Olaf joins DSI from Al Tamimi & Company, a leading commercial law firm in MENA, where Olaf was the Head of Sports & Events, advising clients on a wide range of sports and events related commercial matters and acting for government bodies, rights holders, agencies and players playing in both the Saudi Pro League and Qatar Stars League.

His tenure at TEAM Marketing in Switzerland involved negotiating (on behalf of UEFA) major global sponsorship, licensing, and brand agreements for UEFA club competitions, including the UEFA Champions League. 

Borut will play a pivotal role in driving growth and spearheading initiatives to further strengthen dentsu’s position in MENA. 

Charlie Wylie, Managing Director, EMEA, dentsu Sports International said: “dentsu Sports International will serve as a strategic sports and entertainment arm of dentsu in MENA, offering comprehensive solutions tailored to the needs of brands and rights holders.

“We look forward to forging lasting relationships and driving success in this dynamic and fast-evolving market. It’s great to have Olaf on board, ensuring we have an experienced and trusted industry specialist in MENA engaging with our current and future partners.” 

With the launch of dentsu Sports International, it has undertaken a comprehensive study of fandom in the region: ‘Speed of Fans: Saudi Arabia Insights Report. 

Using their proprietary Decoding 360 Platform, the report casts a light on fan behaviour in the Kingdom, offering valuable insights into their preferences and trends. 

Tarek Daouk, CEO, dentsu MENA added: “The appetite for sports marketing in the Kingdom is at an all-time high, with Saudi’s ambitions and investment in this space only expected to grow.

“It’s an exciting time for sports in the region and we are thrilled to launch dentsu’s bespoke sports and entertainment offering – combining our global experience and heritage in sports marketing with local market data and expertise – to connect brands to fans like never before.”