Bill Thorburn or The Thorburn Group and Guy Wendler of StamatsSan Antonio, TX, February 23, 2015—Stamats, the nation’s leading higher education research and marketing firm, today announced the acquisition of The Thorburn Group, a brand agency serving consumer icons such as Disney, Harley-Davidson, Target and Porsche.

The combination will allow Stamats to offer a new range of services to colleges and universities nationwide as they seek opportunities and renewed relevance amid dramatic change that has shaken the traditional educational business model.

“Traditional colleges and universities are facing a perfect storm of challenges,” said Guy Wendler, President and CEO of Stamats, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “They have been hit simultaneously by unfavorable demographic trends, higher scrutiny of the cost of higher education and increasing competition from alternative education delivery systems, such as for-profit schools.”

He added: “We see these trends only intensifying. Our acquisition allows us to merge the breadth of The Thorburn Group’s work in global consumer brands with Stamats’ creative depth in higher education. This combination is exactly what colleges and universities need at a time of uncertainty. We’re creating a new company to help schools use this unprecedented period of change to strengthen themselves, focus on value and better connect with their students and communities.”

Stamats announced the acquisition at its 2014 Adult Student Integrated Marketing Conference in San Antonio, where about 250 representatives from U.S. colleges and universities are gathered to discuss increasing their undergraduate and graduate enrollments.

The Thorburn Group’s brand clients also include National Geographic, Polaroid, American Standard and Haggar. Graphis magazine described The Thorburn Group as “one of the most influential design firms in both North and South America over the past decade.”

“These two companies, working together, will provide a broader range of services and greater value to clients,” said Bill Thorburn, President and founder of The Thorburn Group, based in Minneapolis. “Stamats brings a wealth of knowledge in higher education. Our firm brings leading-edge brand creative and extensive consumer brand marketing. It’s a powerful combination.”

The Thorburn Group will retain its name and operate as a business unit within Stamats. It also will maintain its Minneapolis office. The firm will continue to serve consumer brands in addition to colleges and universities through Stamats.

About Stamats:

Stamats is the nation’s leading higher education marketing and research firm serving more than 150 public and private colleges and universities annually, including: the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Florida International University, Grinnell College and the University of Richmond. Founded in 1923, Stamats is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and also has offices in San Francisco.

About The Thorburn Group:

The Thorburn Group is a nationally recognized brand agency creating communications that reach out, engage and drive action. Since 1994, the firm’s process of possibility, built on understanding, collaboration and creativity, has developed award-winning creative for top global brands in multiple categories. The agency is headquartered in Minneapolis.

For more information contact:

Guy H. Wendler
President and CEO