Nike has made the surprise decision to award its pounds 9m UK
advertising account to US agency Wieden & Kennedy, ending TBWA Simons
Palmer’s seven-year hold on the business.
The decision comes as the company plans a co-ordinated global marketing
push next year to defend its lead in the lucrative sportswear market
against rivals Reebok and Adidas. WCRS and St Luke’s also pitched for
Nike’s UK account.
The appointment of the Amsterdam-based agency, which is setting up shop
in the UK, dispels speculation that Nike was set to appoint a string of
different agencies to market products for individual sporting
categories, such as team sports and athletics, while retaining TBWA
Simons Palmer to market its football-related products in the UK
Nike is now understood to have opted to use individual teams within
Wieden & Kennedy to advertise different sports.
The company is also understood to be preparing a new advertising theme
in the US, based around the line ’I can’, which will temporarily replace
Nike’s established ’Just do it’ tag line.
TBWA Simons Palmer recently produced what Nike had described as
’probably the best football ad ever’ with its ’Park Life’ execution.
The sportswear company, which sells products for over 30 different
sports worldwide, is believed to have questioned the merger of TBWA with
Simons Palmer earlier this year.
The ad review also follows the recruitment of Ian Todd, director of
operations at international sports consultant International Management
Group, to take on the role of director of global sports marketing.
Todd is expected to play a key role in Nike’s ambitions to build its own
business staging and marketing sporting events.
Nike declined to comment on the changes.