Bully Pulpit Interactive Announces Acquisition of The Incite Agency To Drive Full-Service, Digital-First Offering
(Washington, DC, September 15, 2016) – Bully Pulpit Interactive (BPI), an independent digital marketing agency, has acquired The Incite Agency, a strategic communications agency. The acquisition is powered by an investment in BPI from Svoboda Capital Partners LLC, a Chicago based private equity firm. This investment allows BPI to accelerate its growth and become a one-stop, digital-first solution for clients with integrated services across paid, owned and earned media.
Based in Washington, DC, with offices in New York and Chicago, BPI has over 90 full-time employees and has proven how the skills and lessons learned in politics can be applied on behalf of companies and causes to change minds and incite action. Currently, BPI is known as the largest digital marketer of the Democratic Party and for its work with national organizations such as Hillary for America, Exelon, Brookings and Human Rights Campaign, among others. The Incite Agency brings a team of nearly a dozen based in DC and New York and has served a strong roster of corporate clients such as Airbnb, Google and Eli Lilly as well as philanthropic clients such as Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“Digital is no longer a service offering – it is the foundation of modern communications. While our industry’s typical approach is for traditional firms to bolt on digital services, we are inverting the model and truly breaking down barriers,” said Andrew Bleeker, president of Bully Pulpit Interactive. “Our partnership with Svoboda Capital Partners will provide the tools to best serve our clients by becoming their ‘first chair’ counselor. This begins with the addition of The Incite Agency.”
The principals at both firms have worked together for more than a decade in politics, including the greatest startup in political history, President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Ben LaBolt will join BPI as a partner alongside the agency’s founding partners: Andrew Bleeker, Ben Coffey Clark, Tim Lim, Eliza Lockwood and Mark Skidmore. Coffey Clark identified the opportunity and began conversations with Incite at SXSW. Ann Marie Habershaw, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, will lead the integration of both firms. Managing Director, Mike Schneider, will continue to lead the development of BPI’s proprietary technology to measure impact across all the service offerings.
“We both start with an audience-first, persuasion focused approach to communications,” said Ben LaBolt, the president of The Incite Agency and former national press secretary for President Obama’s reelection campaign. LaBolt and Robert Gibbs founded Incite in 2013. “With our team joining BPI, we will be able to offer the next generation of integrated services, eliminate siloes between earned, paid, and owned media and ensure that our client’s messages will break through in an era of information overload.”
BPI’s services currently include advertising, full service digital campaigns, plus testing and analytics. With the addition of Incite’s team, BPI will be able to expand and offer message development, strategic communications plus crisis and reputation management. The Incite Agency will continue to operate and will be able to provide services independently to current clients and any prospective organizations that exclusively need their services.
Since its founding in 2009, BPI has focused on building innovative technology that powers smarter advertising and creative decisions. With the addition of The Incite Agency, BPI can round out digital and paid services and leverage its proprietary technology solutions to define how a campaign has impacted a brand, cause or candidate’s reputation and what it means for the bottom line.
“BPI is one the most innovative and data-driven marketing agencies in the country,” said John Svoboda of Svoboda Capital Partners LLC. “By partnering with BPI and Incite, we intend to preserve their great cultures, and provide the capital and support to help expand their footprint and further enhance their already great reputations.”
AdMedia Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor for the transaction. The integration will begin this fall and continue into 2017.
About Bully Pulpit Interactive
Bully Pulpit Interactive (BPI) is a digital marketing agency that wins hearts and changes minds for companies and causes. We communicate without barriers and measure what matters. Since its founding in 2009, BPI has applied the lessons of politics to brands and supported over 350 clients on multiple continents. These include 8% of FORTUNE 100 companies, Presidents, Senators and Prime Ministers, as well as several of the top non-profits around the world. www.bpimedia.com
About The Incite Agency
The Incite Agency is a strategic communications agency. Incite helps leading Fortune 500 companies, cutting-edge start-ups, foundations and causes craft integrated campaigns from start to finish. Incite was founded in 2013 by Robert Gibbs and Ben LaBolt and joined shortly after by Jon Jones and Robin Reck who brought a mix of political and corporate expertise for some of the world’s biggest brands. www.theinciteagency.com
About Svoboda Capital Partners LLC
Svoboda Capital Partners LLC is a Chicago-based private equity firm with over $350 million of capital under management. Founded in 1998, SC identifies, invests in and helps build excellent businesses in its targeted business niches: business services, value-added distribution, and consumer products. SC typically makes investments of $10 to $20 million per company in partnership with management teams. www.svoco.com
About AdMedia Partners
Founded in 1990, AdMedia is a leading M&A advisory firm serving the marketing services, advertising, marketing technology, media and information sectors. AdMedia has completed over 230 transactions for clients valued in excess of $11 billion. For more information, visit www.admediapartners.com.
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