ndp and Free Agents Marketing Combine Forces to Focus on Growth

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Two of the most prominent Richmond-based advertising agencies are joining forces with today's announcement that ndp has agreed in principle to acquire Free Agents Marketing (FAM) later this fall creating a firm with an expanded regional portfolio and footprint with offices in Roanoke, Hampton Roads, and Chattanooga, Tenn. Teaming up results in "deeper bench" and expanded resources for clients, along with a bigger regional footprint.

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

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

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

"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," says 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, 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 Wayland and 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. FAM is a successful agency with a diverse client base that nicely complements our own growth and integrated capabilities," said Fell.

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. Fell serves on numerous boards including Maymont, the renowned 100-acre landmark estate, while 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," explained 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 Fell. "Both agencies were doing very good work individually and now collectively can achieve even more to create a leading agency."

About FAM

Founded in 2001, Free Agents Marketing (FAM) is a group of creative and passionate idea-generators who build strong connections between people and brands. As a fully integrated strategic marketing agency, FAM helps clients grow and create memorable experiences through messaging development, advertising, media and public relations, events, digital communications and more for clients across the country. In 2011, FAM was named Henrico Business of the Year, and in 2014, received a ChamberRVA IMPACT Award. For more information, visit freeagentsmarketing.com

About ndp

Ranked #1 among advertising agencies by Richmond BizSense in 2017, ndp is a nationally-known full-service ad agency providing creatively-driven work for clients including VCU Health, Kindred Healthcare, The Jefferson Hotel, Universal Fibers, and University Health System. Founded in 1984, ndp swept both Best in Show categories in the Virginia Public Relations Society of America Awards last year, and has received numerous awards for its campaigns in advertising competitions over the decades. For more information, visit https://www.ndp.agency/.

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Thomas Becher
ndp
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