Match Media scoops Ardent Leisure media account after three-way pitch

Ardent LeisureMatch Media has won the battle for the media account for entertainment brand Ardent Leisure, Mumbrella can reveal.

The pitch had been a three way shoot out between Atomic 212, Match Media and Starcom, with incumbent UM choosing not to recontest the account. Mumbrella understands Ardent Leisure informed the agencies of the decision on Friday.

Ardent Leisure CEO Deborah Thomas said: “The review was conducted to identify a media agency that was well equipped for the digital future and offer a high level of analytics to contribute to our business intelligence.

“Match impressed us in these areas, as well as offering Ardent an innovative and integrated customer engagement strategy and media solutions under one roof.”

The pitch originally saw as many as seven agencies including Carat, MediaCom, Ikon and Brisbane-based Media Circus line up according to reports from AdNews.

John Preston, founder & CEO of Match Media said: “We are delighted to partner with Ardent Leisure. Each business unit is at an exciting stage of development and we are really looking forward to contributing to their future growth through our media smarts and digital and analytics capability.”

Ardent Leisure owns and operates theme parks such as Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint along with, AMF and Kingpin Bowling and Goodlife Health Clubs.

The company last month announced Bauer executive Deborah Thomas as its new CEO, taking over from Greg Shaw although her appointment led to a significant fall in the share price with fund managers questioning her background for the position and the company later having to acknowledge it should have handled Thomas’s appointment better.

According to Nielsen, Ardent Leisure had a main media spend of $2.3m in the year to March, although the company is expected to ramp up its advertising in the coming months with marketing spending tipped to grow to as much as $10m.

Match takes on responsibilities for the account from this Friday, May 1.

Nic Christensen 


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