Published on April 13, 2019, at 4:35 p.m.
by Mickey Kennedy.
A nimble pan-American public relations firm with soccer-focused branding power from around the world. That is exactly what Extreme PR brings to the table as a unique sports agency built in Mexico City, Mexico.
Extreme has clients across several sports entities but within the last few years has built its identity around supporting European soccer in the Americas. Xavier Perrin, the digital marketing director, said, “We try to help brands, clubs and leagues expand outside of Europe and, in particular, in the Americas. We do a lot of the marketing strategy and run content with their website and social media.”
The smaller agency size affects the way Extreme operates. “The strength of the agency is that it is very lean,” said Perrin. “We can rise to a lot of challenges with expertise … by looking at the brief from the client and then putting together the best team to manage it. The model is small and applies very well to us as we are a team of experts and can really make it work for clients.”
The agency sets itself apart from standard agencies as it boasts its expertise on soccer, both international and abroad, which it claims is its main focus. Leonard Santiago, a director at Extreme, said that “sets [Extreme] apart from your traditional PR agencies and even your sports agencies that may just dabble in soccer.” Santiago went on to say, “We are soccer people. We live, we breathe, we eat, we sleep soccer. We know the game inside and out. We know the international game, the domestic game and the connections between the two as well as the differences.”
The diverse expertise brought in from Santiago plays into Extreme’s ability to adopt large clients and plays into how the agency is run, says Perrin. “I think that one of the strengths of this agency is that we have senior people from different origins and backgrounds, but all are experts at what they do. What we do in the agency is to apply what we have learned before and try to learn from new clients as well,” Perrin explained.
Upon forming the agency, Miriam Ortiz kept her strong relationship with Red Bull and brought it in as a client, which included its Air Race, Stratos and Cliff Diving events, to Extreme PR.
The agency itself was built upon these strong relationships. Santiago said, “A lot of it is relationships. A lot of the clients we have people within the agency have worked with personally.” Santiago noted that the agency’s unique expertise “really makes us an ideal partner for clubs who are looking to align themselves with someone who knows the landscape, the reporters directly and someone who knows the best way to tell that story.”
Perrin also brought a client to the table upon joining Extreme. “I was extremely happy with Chelsea football club and was able to do a lot of things with them. I managed to bring in Chelsea as a client [for Extreme PR] when I moved to Mexico, and we are doing communications for them in Spanish,” he said.
The ability for these individuals to leave a large, world-renowned brand and join a smaller one while still maintaining a professional relationship shows that despite its size Extreme PR brings to the table the same thing big firms do. As Santiago said, “By offering a full suite of PR, community management, and digital marketing expertise, we are positioned to really be great for some of these businesses looking to grow in the U.S. soccer market.”
Santiago emphasized that the size plays to the agency’s advantage. “We aren’t a big global agency with 10,000 employees; we are a nimble firm that wears a lot of hats, but has a ton of flexibility with a proven track record of working with some big clients around the world.”
Santiago joined the agency officially within the last year to be a direct liaison for the global game in the United States. Before joining Extreme, Santiago represented soccer domestically across several different facets. “I have worked with clubs in the U.S. second division within USL and even when USL was considered the third division. So I know the U.S. soccer landscape all the way up as well to the US Soccer Federation and CONCACAF,” he explained.
Santiago still lives in Orlando and represents the agency here when the company has its headquarters in Mexico City. Santiago thinks that the distance still works out perfectly for the agency. As he noted, “We work in lockstep. We are in communication pretty much every day whether it is through WhatsApp, which is our mode of choice for communication, or phone calls. We [Ortiz and Perrin] do get together for meetings from time to time. They were here in Orlando in January and together in Miami in November and together for a client bid in New York City just last week.”
The flexibility of a smaller agency allows Extreme PR staff to work together and learn quickly to adapt to new challenges, a variety of which they face through a diverse client base. Extreme PR is a rising tide in sports PR agencies and can show its strength in its ability to be nimble while building expertise in the soccer world both internationally and domestically.