Industry leader Will Shames hired to join team as Director of Brand Strategy and Business Development.

Boston, MA – July 13, 2022 – Fenway Sports Management (FSM), the sales, consulting, and special events arm for Fenway Sports Group’s impressive portfolio of sports properties, announced today a finalized deal executed by its Sponsorship Consulting division on behalf of Pennington, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of lawn, garden and turf care products and a leading brand within the Central Garden & Pet Company portfolio, with several MLB franchises across the country. The deal demonstrates FSM’s expertise in helping blue-chip brands enter and/or maximize their investments within the sports and entertainment industry while helping each to connect with passionate sports fans in new and innovative ways. To support the growing portfolio, FSM is happy to welcome Will Shames as its first-ever Director of Brand Strategy and Business Development, a role designed to strategize on how to drive success for current and prospective brand partners, constantly thinking proactively on behalf of clients, in addition to supporting new business efforts.  

FSM’s newly-signed deal with Pennington, built around orchestrating the brand’s expanded partnership with nine MLB teams across the country (Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals), will support brand awareness in respective markets. FSM was able to leverage its established relationships, industry knowledge & upfront intel to facilitate impactful partnerships in Pennington’s key markets through unique benchmarking insights, deal evaluation & unparalleled negotiation services. This work also included brokering partnerships to build a social campaign in individual markets where fans can vote on the field design implemented by each team’s ground crew for select home games, including the home opener for the Cubs. Through an ancillary agreement with MLB Advanced Media facilitated by FSM, Pennington was granted access to club branded media, social posts, and MLB.tv assets across all of the teams.

“Pennington is dedicated to providing sustainable grass seed products that require less water, withstand wear and tear and still provide beautiful green fields and lawns that consumers love and expect. Through our partnership with FSM, we’re proud that we’ll be working with the dedicated grounds crews at so many MLB stadiums to deliver the highest quality seed for their fields,” said Mike McGoohan, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategy at Central Garden & Pet, Pennington’s parent brand. “We’re looking forward to helping these iconic fields stand up to the demands of the game with the support of Pennington products.”    

Additionally, FSM will take a lead role in the day-to-day management and activation of new sponsorships with Wasabi Technologies and Monster Worldwide, helping build strategic marketing plans to maximize brand recognition and connect with followers and customers across all platforms.

With an ever-expanding list of clients and scopes of work, the team is strategically investing to grow its operations and capabilities with new hire Will Shames bringing years of experience in sports marketing to tap into including past roles at the NBA, Washington Nationals, The Drone Racing League, and most recently the Premier Lacrosse League. Shames is a graduate of Colgate University.

“As owners and operators of premier sports and entertainment properties across the globe, FSM innately has a unique perspective and insight into how properties work. We understand the passion of fans and what motivates them, and from there we make the connection to brands to drive key business goals and objectives,” said BriAnne Newman, Vice President of Sponsorship Consulting & Events. “We are committed to investing in and growing our remarkable team by welcoming top talents, such as Will, so that we are well-positioned to continue to elevate and evolve partnership opportunities at any scale.”

FSM’s Sponsorship Consulting team assists companies in using sponsorships as a platform to achieve their business goals. Born from rightsholders, FSM’s expertise is rooted in its experiences directly from its own sports properties, offering a unique understanding of how to negotiate and deliver world class partnerships through leveraging its deep industry knowledge and relationships. With unmatched insights and access to proprietary research about local fan behavior, FSM has a particular strength in helping clients harness the power of local team sponsorships in any market. The team’s core capabilities consist of day-to-day management of a brand’s sponsorship portfolio, including building a fully integrated sponsorship strategy, inclusive of negotiation, identification and evaluation of new or existing opportunities as well as activating their sponsorships on any scale. Some of FSM’s Sponsorship Consulting clients include: Dunkin’, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Cavendish Farms, and Old Trapper.

About Fenway Sports Management

Fenway Sports Management (FSM) is a global sports marketing firm that specializes in partnership sales, consulting, and the creation of unique and memorable events and experiences. The company serves as the sponsorship sales arm for FSG’s prestigious sports portfolio, including the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, the Pittsburgh Penguins, New England Sports Network (NESN), and RFK Racing. In addition to representing FSG’s network of properties, FSM also serves as the exclusive marketing agency for LeBron James through a strategic partnership with LRMR Ventures.

Outside of sponsorship sales, FSM serves as the sponsorship consulting agency to several brands, advising them on how to use sports as a platform to realize their business goals through a variety of services including strategy development, negotiation, and activation. The firm is also an industry leader with its Special Events practice which creates, plans, and executes a broad spectrum of unique sports and entertainment events that range from large-scale, public events at iconic sports venues, to private, corporate events. 

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