The PA Group yesterday announced what amounted to an admission of what many in the media had suspected since the first rumbles of credit crunch discontent had been heard: it will not be spinning off PA Sport any time soon. The decision was effectively announced when it said that its sports arm is to be “re-branded” as “Press Association Sport”.
Of course, that means that everyone in the business will stop, immediately, from ever refering to it as “PA” or even “PA Sport”. Or perhaps not.
The PA press release sought to explain the reasoning:
“By re-launching as ‘Press Association Sport’ the brand leverages its relationship with its sister company the Press Association news agency, and the fact that it shares its values while remaining a company dedicated to sport.
“The new brand identity also reflects Press Association Sportâ€™s position as an innovative, multimedia, sports news and information provider.”
The announcement comes three months after the sale of PA Sports Ticker, PA Sport’s attempt to break into the US data market.
But there is a new website – www.pressassociation.com/sport – which the corporate speak in the press release describes as having “enhanced product demonstrations, an upcoming events section detailing products and services for major sporting events and a full suite of services for the sports industry including online, betting, broadcast, print, mobile and governing bodies”.
PA Sport has in recent months been subject to complaints from regular stringers for cut backs and changes in its coverage of snooker and cricket, as the company has looked to reduce its costs by reducing its coverage.
In the press release, this was reflected by Ian Campbell, the managing director of Press Association Sport, who is supposed to have said:
â€œBy changing our name and introducing a new website we aim to strengthen our brand identity among customers and effectively showcase our wide range of services and investment in digital products.
â€œPA Sport was a strong brand, so we have not cast it aside lightly, but in the UK and Ireland, the Press Association is widely recognised for its integrity and first-rate journalism. Our business is ingrained with the same ‘fast, fair and accurate’ values and we are rebranding as Press Association Sport to overtly reflect this fact and leverage these strengths.â€
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