GLOBAL BRIEF: Wongdoody wins place on Adidas hotshop roster - The agency’s expertise on sports accounts was a key factor, Harriet Green says

What, do you imagine, is a Wongdoody? A small, asexual marsupial?

What, do you imagine, is a Wongdoody? A small, asexual


A cheese snack, perhaps? Or could it be a US ad agency with an

extraordinary name, which has just landed a place on the Adidas


Got it in one. And, in fact, the agency’s name is not so terribly odd

after all, because the Seattle-based enterprise was established, six

years ago, by Tracy Wong and Pat Doody. (The real mystery is how two men

ended up with such girly forenames.)

Wong, the creative director, and Doody, director of strategic services,

are well known in the US industry. Wong has won more than 250 national

and international creative awards during his 14-year career at agencies

including Livingston+Co/Seattle, Ogilvy & Mather and Goodby Berlin &

Silverstein. Doody has worked in account management at DMB&B and


Wongdoody’s clients include Alaska Airlines, Oberto Turkey Jerky and Fox

Broadcasting - but what brought it to the attention of Adidas was its

work for sports accounts such as the Seattle Supersonics basketball

team. The most recent campaign for the Supersonics, in which a star

player turned up unannounced at people’s homes with amusing results, won

a gold at last year’s One Show.

For a year now, Adidas has been searching for hotshops to work in

alliance with its global ad agency, Leagas Delaney, in order to break

down Nike’s stranglehold on fresh, creative work. In October 1998, Neil

Simpson, Adidas’s global advertising director, appointed the Amsterdam

start-up, 180, to create cross-border branding campaigns.

’Leagas Delaney San Francisco’s contribution to Adidas America remains

core,’ insists Karyn Thayle, Adidas America’s director of marketing

communications, who appointed Wongdoody. ’Leagas Delaney is the primary

agency, and has brought a lot to the brand. But because of the volume of

work and the need for fresh ideas it was important to bring in secondary


This is one more piece of a long-term strategy designed to meet our

rapid brand growth, as well as the changing needs of the market.

Wongdoody’s initial brief is to work with Leagas Delaney’s San Francisco

agency on US projects such as basketball and American football. In

particular, it will focus on Adidas’s student interests. There will also

be in-store activity and direct mail.

Thayle adds: ’Wongdoody is a very creative shop and one of the rising

stars in the US creative world.’ The agency has already created its

first ad for Thayle - a print work featuring the legendary basketball

star, Joe Dumars.

Doody is delighted. ’Can anyone name a footwear company that they’d

rather be associated with right now?’ he asks.