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BREAKING: Groundswell, The Odd Number and King James Group's new joint venture

The Odd Number Group and King James Group have just announced the launch of a new joint venture agency called Groundswell.
Alistair King, Sbu Sitole, James Barty and Xola Nouse.
Alistair King, Sbu Sitole, James Barty and Xola Nouse.

The collaboration is an effort geared to tackle current and future client opportunities. It signals the two agencies’ intent to form an ongoing and forward-looking partnership and sets up the prospect of specialist agency acquisitions to bolster their joint capabilities.

“We’re building a partnership that will deliver real value to clients,” says Xola Nouse, CEO of The Odd Number. "Over the past five years we’ve successfully demonstrated the case for an agency such as ours. As we now set our sights on continued growth and expansion, we’ve found in King James, partners whose business and creative philosophies mirror that of our own - our collective independence and entrepreneurial flair resonates with the clients and markets we serve."

A sentiment echoed by King James CEO, James Barty, who says:
A coming together of two African-born independent businesses that can serve uniquely African opportunities with an innovative approach rings true to us.
"And while we’re obviously at very different stages in our business lifespan, this new structure sets up a shared long-term vision for both agencies to work towards," he adds.

The two agency brands will continue to operate as standalone agency groups while leveraging the skills and expertise that each company can bring to the other through this partnership, collaborating where possible and teaming up when necessary.

“Alistair and James have a lot in common with Xola and me. We all believe that the future belongs to local, independent agencies that are interested in shaping our country’s creative narrative. We aim to achieve this by finding, nurturing and arming young creative South Africans with the confidence and ability to showcase their work and compete at a global level,” comments The Odd Number CCO, Sbu Sitole.

“We’ve long admired the entrepreneurial spirit of The Odd Number, but more than anything we identify as kindred creative spirits. Our shared creative ethos and our personal ambitions for our respective companies has been critical to our meeting of minds,” adds King James CCO, Alistair King.

Sitole, Nouse, King and Barty will sit as equal shareholders on the board of Groundswell.

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