Engagement marketing agency GMR is often credited as being the first dedicated event marketing agency in the US. It was founded in 1983 by Gary M Reynolds - thus the name GMR - to handle a series of regional US promotions on behalf of Miller Brewing. These were primarily music-oriented, led by the Miller Band Network, a series of live shows in bars and clubs featuring local bands. Having grown steadily over the next 15 years, adding PR and other marketing disciplines, GMR was acquired by Omnicom in 1997, and a year later took its first steps into sports marketing. It is now one of the two biggest experiential agencies in the US, and also offers sponsorship, shopper and field marketing services. It is especially strong in US motorsports, with a major presence in NASCAR on behalf of retailer Lowe's and other clients. Among other assignments, GMR handles global sports sponsorship for Procter & Gamble, including its Olympics involvement. Until recently, it was the key business within Radiate Group, an Omnicom subsidiary set up to coordinate the activities of around 20 separate agencies with a presence spread across North America, Europe and Asia. Gradually, however, GMR has absorbed several of these partners and the Radiate concept was phased out in 2013. The agency now operates 9 offices in North America, and another 14 offices spread across 10 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Founder Gary Reynolds moved up to chairman in 2014, with Cameron Parsons, formerly COO, becoming CEO. Ken Black was appointed as chief creative officer in 2019. AdAge estimated global revenues of $200m in 2019, with $110m from the US.
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