Connelly Partners and ISM merge to form travel and leisure marketing unit

  • 23 Aug 2013 4:45 PM
    Message # 1372832
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Companies Combine to Build Travel and Hospitality Marketing Powerhouse

    BOSTON- Thursday, August 22nd- Connelly Partners and ISM today announced a merger agreement that creates a new travel and hospitality marketing offering entitled ISM/CP Travel & Lifestyle Group. The group brings together one of the most successful global names in travel and leisure marketing in ISM, and one of the region's fastest growing integrated marketing firms in Connelly Partners. The newly created group will be part of Connelly Partners, LLC and physically housed within their recently expanded space in Boston's South End. The merger brings the combined companies to $15 million in annual revenue with just north of 100 employees.

    "ISM is recognized around the world as a leader in the travel and leisure space and as an exceptional marketer," said Steve Connelly, president of Connelly Partners. "We are excited to establish this new group within Connelly Partners, and combining our collective travel and lifestyle experience to build something very cool and dynamic in the travel segment."

    "We're excited to take our brand building expertise in the category and marry it to the deep experience and innovation that CP can offer across disciplines like mobile, digital and social that are transforming travel today," said Gary Leopold, the president and CEO of ISM. "Travel and leisure is a massive global industry where the right marketing strategy and development makes all of the difference. By creating the ISM/CP Travel & Lifestyle Group we now have the scale and resources to more successfully support our clients in an extraordinarily competitive category." Leopold will become the president of the ISM/CP Travel & Lifestyle Group and will take responsibility for leading the practice.

    ISM has a long history of building relationships with and revenue for travel and leisure clients like Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, American Express Travel, Saint Lucia Tourist Board, and Palace Resorts, while Connelly Partners has created successful integrated campaigns and digital content strategies for clients including the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Samsonite, American Tourister and Stowe Mountain Resort.

    "Some mergers are done for accountants, and some are done for clients. This is the latter," added Connelly. "This merger is all about a mutual desire to reshape travel marketing."

    About Connelly Partners:
    Connelly Partners is a content-driven, marketing and communications agency, with fully-integrated services including advertising, digital marketing, media planning and buying, design, strategic planning, search engine marketing and optimization, public relations, social marketing, video production and analytics. The agency works with client partners such as Samsonite, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Tufts Health Plan, Kayem Foods, Babson College, the Massachusetts State Lottery, and Wyman's of Maine. Connelly Partners was named one of Boston Globe's "Best Places to Work" in 2012 and was designated as Inc. magazine's "Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies in America" in 2013. 

    For more information on Connelly Partners, visit or follow @connellyagency on Twitter.

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    (excerpt from, author Chris Reidy, Globe Staff)

    Boston ad agency Connelly Partners and ISM announced a merger agreement Thursday that creates a new travel and hospitality marketing offering titled ISM/CP Travel & Lifestyle Group.

    The combination brings total headcount to more than 100 employees, and the coming together means that the firms will now have the size and scale to woo larger clients. The combination will also enable ISM to take advantage of Connelly Partners' expertise in digital and social media marketing in serving new clients and pitching new ones. Connelly Partners currently has about 70 employees.

    Based in Boston, ISM specializes in devising marketing campaigns for the travel and leisure industry. Clients include Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, American Express Travel, Saint Lucia Tourist Board, and Palace Resorts. Plans call for ISM to move into Connelly Partners' office in Boston's South End neighborhood. Clients of Connelly Partners include the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and Stowe Mountain Resort.

    After the merger, Connelly Partners projects combined annual revenues of about $15 million.

    Last modified: 26 Aug 2013 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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