NEW YORK — With an eye on growth, MWW has launched a sports and entertainment practice headed by two former Catalyst execs — Joe Flores and Andrew Garson.

The practice’s launch is spearheaded by MWW president Bret Werner, who, in hiring Flores and Garson (pictured) is tapping two individuals with whom he has worked with for more than a decade. Werner, whose roots are in sports and entertainment, also hired Flores and Garson at Catalyst, the agency he co-founded; the trio worked together at Taylor before that.

The new practice, which MWW expects to drive 2018 growth,  capitalizes on the team’s experience in the space, as well as MWWPR’s existing work for clients including the Kentucky Derby and the new spring football league, Alliance of American Football.

Now that the sports and entertainment division, which will operate under the firm’s consumer practice, is formalized, MWW will be “a lot more aggressive in the marketplace,” Werner said, adding that the offering ties well into the agency’s expertise in pop culture. “We know sports and entertainment resonate in our culture, and allows us to disrupt a very crowded space,” Werner said.

Additionally, Werner pointed out that MWW has capabilities — most notably crisis response and communications expertise — that specialty firms do not typically possess. These, he said, are becoming increasingly important given the number of controversial issues with which sports and entertainment clients grapple.