October 22, 2020OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 22, 2020
Saxum and VI Marketing and Branding to Combine Agencies
Deal creates highly differentiated, integrated, digital-first agency – expected close by end of 2020
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 22, 2020 — Today, Saxum, an integrated digital marketing agency, announced it has signed a letter of intent to acquire VI Marketing and Branding. Together, the agencies will have revenues of more than $38 million and more than 100 employees across the nation. The new agency will maintain Saxum’s name and its Oklahoma City headquarters in the Heritage Building, 621 N. Robinson.
Saxum and VI are experiencing their best years ever in 2020, with fee revenue at all-time highs and increases over 2019 of 19% and 6%, respectively. Together, the agencies’ workforce includes full-time employees in Oklahoma City, Chicago, Denver, Houston, St. Louis, Miami, Nashville, Charlotte, Chattanooga and Tulsa.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity to build on Saxum’s and VI’s reputation to create a highly differentiated agency, with superior talent, an integrated digital-first culture and a focus on issues that our clients and the world need to solve,” said C. Renzi Stone, Saxum Chairman and CEO. “Tim Berney, co-founder and President of VI, and I have been friends and friendly competitors for nearly two decades. We will leverage our long-term personal and professional relationships to grow our business, while remaining focused on providing unmatched client services, capabilities and products that truly add value and drive results for our clients.”
Following closing of the transaction, which is expected by year-end 2020, Stone will serve as Chairman and CEO of the new entity. Berney will be an equity shareholder and partner, and serve as President of Saxum. Steve Sturges, current partner and Executive Creative Director of VI, requested an exit plan and will work in a consulting role for a few months following the closing to ensure a smooth transition. Debbie Schramm, currently President at Saxum, will become President Emeritus and Chief Integration Officer.
“This is a unique opportunity to bring two very successful agencies together and offer enhanced services for our clients and more opportunities for our team members,” Berney said. “We will continue to be a people-first culture that provides challenging and meaningful work in an inclusive, agile, collaborative and supportive environment. The values of both companies are truly aligned. We are committed to a better world and will continue to cultivate deep relationships in our communities and leverage our extensive talents to support and give back to the communities where we live and work.”
“I have been planning my departure for awhile, and, with many more things I want to pursue, this gives me the freedom to do so,” Sturges said. “I believe the leadership, especially creative leadership, is phenomenal and this transaction provides the potential for great growth opportunities for our team. I will forever be a friend of the agency and am proud to leave confidently knowing the agency is in a great place and poised to do great things.”
Saxum and VI will continue to place top priority on providing the highest level of client service. “With deep expertise and a focus on creating meaningful and measurable change, we will provide best-in-class strategic counsel and execution for our clients,” Stone said. “Our combined agency will provide clients with access to even more incredible talent and capabilities.”
Saxum is an issues-obsessed agency delivering strategic campaigns and digital solutions for a changing world. The agency partners with businesses, brands, organizations and philanthropies who are dissatisfied with small ideas for their big challenges. Saxum provides meaningful and measurable change as creative thinkers with an affinity for data. Saxum has been recognized as an INC. 5000 Honoree for fastest-growing privately held company in America for eight consecutive years and as a Top Workplace in Oklahoma for six consecutive years. The agency has been awarded more than 100 local Addy Awards, PRSA National Silver Anvil award, 12 national Telly Awards and a dozen Graphex awards. For more information, visit www.saxum.com.
For three decades, VI has made the world a better place through behavior change, shaping and anticipating marketing trends. Strategic thinkers, VI’s creative artists, digital media specialists, video producers and marketing strategists excel at developing solutions that produce results. VI is the only Google Premier Partner in Oklahoma and has been named Best Ad Agency in Oklahoma six times. The agency has received thousands of local Addy Awards, hundreds of district awards and seven Addy Best of Shows. VI is a three-time winner of the Runkle Award, and received the CA global award, PRSA National Silver Anvil award, four AsChiat Day Awards for Strategy, and multiple AMA Marketinis Best of Shows for results. Tim Berney and Steve Sturges have each been honored with the Ad Club’s Silver Medal Award for lifetime achievement.