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Sunday, June 06, 2010


OLSON, the Minneapolis brand connection agency that has soared nationally, is merging with Denali Marketing, a fast-growing full-service marketing agency with a focus on loyalty, to form a new specialty discipline of OLSON called OLSONdenali. With the addition of Denali Marketing, OLSON is now one of the top 10 independent full-service marketing agencies in the United States, delivering one of the most comprehensive integrated offerings in the country.

OLSON, an independent, privately held agency, was recently named to AdAge’s “Agency to Watch list” for its “out-of-the-box thinking.” Denali Marketing, founded in 2006 by loyalty marketing veterans Mark Lacek, Peter Brennan and Greg Heinemann, has rapidly emerged on the national stage as a breakout, next-generation loyalty-marketing firm. OLSONdenali provides services to some of the largest brands in the world in verticals ranging from transportation and retail to financial services, entertainment and energy.

“We believe there’s pent-up demand for a single full-service firm that can deliver the finest insight, ingenuity and accountability in a user-friendly package. That’s the promise of this deal,” says John Olson, founder and chairman, OLSON. “Denali Marketing is one of the fastest rising stars in the loyalty arena, and best aligned to be our partner moving forward. Together, we will take community building full-circle, offering clients world-class communications from mass awareness to one-to-one consumer relationships.”

“This is a perfect melding of art and science in a way that’s never been done before. Together, we combine the left and right brain, bringing the whole mind to our clients,” says Mark Lacek, co-founder, managing partner, Denali Marketing. “Joining forces with OLSON allows us to offer clients exceptional capabilities and opportunities. The fit from a chemistry, culture and shared business model — helping clients become successful by creating great brands and loyal customers — could not be better. Sometimes in life you get one chance to do something really big. This is our chance,” says Lacek.

OLSON partnered with KRG Capital Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm, to assist in the recapitalization of OLSON as part of management’s plans for continued future growth and to complete the Denali Marketing merger. AdMedia Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to Denali Marketing in this transaction.