Manly’s lifestyle attributes have attracted one of the world’s largest sports marketing agencies who have moved their Australian offices to Manly which has led to increased productivity and client engagement.
With 70 offices in 27 countries, Lagardere Sports and Entertainment is globally renowned for its sports marketing and athlete management services, with clients including the Australian Olympic Committee, 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Australian Open Golf amongst other international clients including WTA finals, Asian and African Football Confederations, PGA Tour amongst others.
Speaking from the company’s newly-renovated designer offices with sweeping Manly views, Global President, Olympics and Major Events, Michael Bushell said that operating from the seaside suburb is attractive to both staff and clients.
“It is an asset to say our offices are in Manly. The lifestyle and ambience helps us attract and retain staff,” Mr Bushell said, adding that an extensive office fitout captures and reflects this coastal atmosphere.
Mr Bushell said the move from St Leonards has resulted in increased productivity and less stress among staff.
“Six of our team now walk to work and staff who come from further away travel against peak hour traffic or on the ferry.”
They have also found that clients are keen to visit their new offices.
“They want to come here because of the location. They like the style of operation versus the more clinical operations you see.”
Lagardere staff also embrace visiting clients in the city, according to Mr Bushell.
“If you need to go to the city, there is just nothing better than to catch the Fast Ferry. It is so relaxing and so close.”
These are similar sentiments expressed by other businesses who have their offices in Manly, including Macquarie Bank who established their retail broking headquarters in Manly Corso in 2008 – where they remain today.
Both Lagardere and Macquarie Bank were placed by Northern Beaches commercial real estate specialist, Patrick Kelleher of Pine Property, who said there is increasing demand for commercial office space in the suburb.
“We’ve seen more and more prominent businesses move to the area. They no longer need to be in traditional central business districts to be relevant.”
However Mr Kelleher said that demand is outweighing supply, with Lagardere waiting for eight months before finding an office that matched their requirements.
“Manly has historically achieved high occupancy levels and low vacancy rates. Once people are established here, they tend not to leave,” he said.
“The emergence of some new stock in recent years – much of it newly renovated – has helped, however there is still limited supply.”
This has driven up rents and property values, with Mr Kelleher saying rates for commercial office space in Manly are commensurate with those found in the CBD.
But for Mr Bushell – who is paying the same amount for a smaller office than at St Leonards – the costs are worth it and he encourages other business to do the same if it fits with their model.
“Everyone just loves it. For 30 years I drove to work in the peak hour traffic. Now, I am refreshed. I walk to work.”