The Mirror Group has gone outside its creative agency, M&C Saatchi,
for the first time, to appoint Grey as the agency for Sporting Life.
Grey won the task of relaunching the daily sports newspaper following a
five-way pitch against M&C Saatchi, Saatchi & Saatchi, Lansdown Conquest
and Banks Hoggins O’Shea.
Media planning and buying has not yet been decided but a decision is
expected within six weeks. No separate media pitch was held.
The agency appointment underlines Mirror Group’s commitment to launching
the sports title, following recent speculation that it was considering
abandoning its plans.
The creative pitch for Sporting Life was first kicked off in January but
was put on hold because the relaunch was delayed. Mirror Group resumed
talks in May but an autumn launch was also put back when the then
editor, John Mulholland, was fired.
The pitches were overseen by the newspaper’s managing director, Jeremy
Reed, and its marketing director, Simon McQuiggan.
McQuiggan said: ’We are developing this newspaper in a classic brand
marketing-led way and so we want an agency to work with us in
identifying the market opportunities. Grey’s proposition was the best we
Steve Blamer, Grey’s chief executive, said: ’When the pitch process was
announced, our new-business director, Michael Richards, sat outside the
client’s office from 6.30am until he was given the chance to present our
ideas. This is a wonderful result.’
Tim Mellors, the creative partner at Mellors Reay and Partners, was
involved in the pitch, as a prelude to his agency’s merger with Grey.