Russell Athletic, one of the world’s largest textile brands, has handed
McCann-Erickson the pounds 8 million task of running its first pan-
European TV branding campaign.
Britain, where the US company established its European bridgehead ten
years ago, will be targeted by the new advertising along with France,
Germany, Spain and Italy.
McCanns won the business in competition with Lowe Belgium and both the
media and creative sides of the account will be co-ordinated by
Universal McCann in Brussels. The new advertising will break next year.
Russell claims it now has sufficient critical mass in Europe to justify
an above-the-line campaign. Its pan-European sales have been growing by
30 per cent a year for the past three years.
It now has six offices across the Continent and distribution in most
countries and feels it is ready to gear up to be a significant rival to
sportswear companies such as Reebok, Nike and Adidas.
The 94-year-old brand, which is owned by the Russell Corporation, is a
major player in the US where it provides training gear for 26 NFL
American football teams as well as Major League baseball squads.
The company has also sponsored Britain’s 1996 Olympic gold medal-winning
rowers, Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsett.
Russell’s UK advertising has so far been restricted to posters on the
London Underground and Adshel sites. Its only previous move on to
European TV was a one-off campaign two years ago on MTV to highlight and
support its sponsorship of Grand Prix racing.