French/West/Vaughan (FWV), one of the nation’s largest independently-owned public relations, advertising and digital marketing agencies, announced the acquisition of CGPR, a public relations and consumer brand marketing agency specializing in the active lifestyle, outdoor, ski, fashion, technology and travel sectors. Chris Goddard, CGPR founder, will continue to lead CGPR which will keep its name and complement FWV’s expertise in the fashion and outdoor consumer lifestyle categories. The firm will be known as CGPR, an FWV Agency.
Headquartered near Boston in Marblehead, Mass., the agency has a more than 25-year history of category leadership in outdoor, adventure, fashion and activewear channels, working with some of the world’s leading ski resorts, hard goods/gear manufacturers, trade shows, component technologies and industry trade organizations.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Goddard launched CGPR in 1993 following high-profile career stops in Washington, D.C., New York and London. She is a former energy, conservation and urban recreation lobbyist that worked to re-authorize the landmark Clean Air Act and The Clean Water Act, represented Mayor Koch in New York, and later served as a congressional liaison. In New York, her big agency experience included time at Carl Byoir and Edelman, working on accounts including Bermuda Tourism, Crafted with Pride in America and British Airways. In London, she worked for the British American Chamber of Commerce. She and her family later relocated to the picturesque sailing enclave of Marblehead, where she joined Rockport before starting her own firm. Early success with clients such as Killington, Merrell and W.L. Gore & Associates helped establish CGPR as a preferred partner to outdoor lifestyle, footwear, technology and apparel brands.
“Chris and her team at CGPR have built an exceptional reputation in strategic branding and marketing communications,” said Rick French, FWV Chairman & CEO. “They specialize in some of the consumer lifestyle categories in which FWV also has a wealth of experience, so our combined resources and collective expertise will be impressive.”
Since 1997, FWV has worked with outdoor lifestyle and apparel brands including Wrangler, Justin Boots, Nathan, Fleet Feet, Implus, Arena, Speedo and many others. CGPR has a long-standing track record of working with leading outdoor, active lifestyle and ingredient brands including adidas Terrex, Birkis, Helly Hansen, Kelty, LifeStraw, Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Retailer, Royal Robbins, Tretorn and Snowsports Industries America.
“We are honored to be joining FWV, an agency with impeccable credentials in our industry,” said Goddard. “Everyone in the Raleigh headquarters was so professional and welcoming, it really felt like family—Rick has built a remarkable company that shares many of the same passions and commitments that we do, so the possibilities for the future are very exciting. With this union, we are now part of a full service agency that provides multi-faceted services that define the changing world of public relations today.”
Ranked among the nation’s 15 largest PR firms (O’Dwyer’s Ranking of Top U.S. PR Firms), FWV has captured 20 National Agency of the Year honors over the past two decades, including Best PR Agency of 2019 (Bulldog Reporter “Stars of PR” Awards).
With the acquisition, FWV now employs more than 120 public relations, public affairs, social media, advertising and digital marketing experts between its Raleigh, N.C. headquarters, offices in New York City (AMP3 PR), Los Angeles (Prix Productions) and Tampa (FWV Fetching), and now CGPR in Greater Boston.