Employee-owned network of creative agencies, Project Worldwide, is making a substantial strategic investment in Talisman, a full-service sports marketing agency that has forged remarkable partnerships between world-class brands and sports rights holders who have stamped their dominance in Formula 1 including partnering with Kraken & Williams Racing to identify and source key partnerships and significant business development opportunities across F1 races worldwide. Recognized for creativity, data utilization, and innovation, Talisman’s expertise extends beyond F1, encompassing Sports, Web3, Gaming and Entertainment. The agency has achieved success working with a roster of world-class brands including Kraken, TUMI, Fanduel, McLaren, Lamborghini, ONE Championship and various stakeholders across the EPL, NBA, MLB, NFL and more.
Based in Dubai and experiencing explosive growth since its 2021 launch, the investment will allow Talisman to expand into the U.S. as well as tap into Project’s global offices in 24 countries, which will see Talisman establishing commercial offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Riyadh and Singapore.
Talisman was founded by Dharpan Randhawa, a sports marketing industry veteran who previously served as McLaren Racing’s Senior Vice President of its Asia-Pacific region as well as Vice President of sales for Lagardère Sports (SPORTFIVE). Talisman has over 100 years of combined industry experience with a high-caliber advisory team including Tom Fox, Javier Villamizar and Kenneth Berger. Fox started his career on the brand side working with Gatorade and Nike, and later worked the sports side serving as President of the MLS team the San Jose Earthquakes as well as Chief Commercial Officer of Arsenal FC and CEO of Aston Villa. Villamizar leads Softbank’s Vision Fund as Operating Partner and brings 25+ years of international “deal closing” experience managing multi-billion regional operations. Berger has a proven track record of business success throughout Asia including Regional Vice President at IMG & Head of Asia for the UFC. He launched Sports Marketing Japan (SMJ) which in 2009 was sold to Yoshimoto Kogyo, Japan’s largest entertainment production entity and talent agency.
“We’ve always been highly selective and deliberate about the agencies we bring into our network, looking for those who are largely founder-led, creative and passionate about collaboration,” said Robert G. Vallee, Jr., Project’s Chairman and CEO. “After getting to know Dharpan and the team, we knew this was an excellent fit and we are excited to unlock the potential of our businesses coming together.”
Talisman is joining the Project Sports, Gaming and Entertainment Collective, which now spans the full spectrum of sports marketing services including sports business consulting, sports sponsorships, brand campaigns and activations, digital innovation, content-centric programming, data/analytics and talent booking. Project SGE conceives of and creates iconic, culturally driven integrated marketing campaigns and programs for blue-chip clients, start-ups and everything in between. Talisman will be able to tap into the talents of Project’s 13 other creative agencies including GPJ, OS Studios, G7, Motive, Praytell, Wondersauce and more.
“All of the Project agencies are built for ‘hyperconnective’ creativity, which allows for seamless ideation, rapid adaptation, and collective innovation across platforms and programs,” said Matt Statman, Motive founder, Chief Creative Officer and Chief Executive Officer as well as President of Project Integrated Agency Group. “We are fueled by strategy, driven by creativity, and known for flawless execution and can’t wait for Talisman to provide more ammunition to construct meaningful bonds between brands and moments in culture.”
As part of this transformative collaboration, Talisman is announcing several key changes to its leadership team. Founder Dharpan Randhawa will assume the role of CEO, Charlie Evans will take on the vital role of Chief Revenue Officer, overseeing revenue generation and growth strategies and Logan Furr will serve as Chief Partnerships Officer, leading efforts in forging valuable brand partnerships globally.
“Our journey has been defined by exponential growth, and our expansion into the US market is a testament to our robust trajectory,” said Dharpan Randhawa, Talisman founder and CEO. “This strategic partnership with Project SGE is a game-changer. It not only provides Talisman with the resources to accelerate our presence in the United States, but also enhances our capabilities to offer clients and partners a more complete service portfolio. Together, we’re poised to reshape the industry landscape and serve our clients with an unmatched, holistic approach.”