Wieden and Kennedy, the US agency which handles Nike on the Continent,
is to open new satellite offices in Paris, Barcelona and Milan to help
its Amsterdam shop run the prestigious account better.
The three new outposts are expected to open their doors early this
month. They will be headed by locally recruited senior account
directors, all of whom have had ‘some American contact’ in their lives,
according to William ‘Buzz’ Sawyer, managing director of Wieden and
He commented: ‘We recognise that Nike is expanding and we want to
continue working with it.’
Michel Sara, formerly of BDDP, will run the Paris office, while Roberto
Bado, from the Italian agency, BGS, will head Milan. Javier
Torrescasana, from Slogan in Barcelona, will take charge of the Spanish
Wieden and Kennedy office.
Sawyer added that a German account director was also being sought, but
that he or she would start working out of Amsterdam. ‘Maybe we will open
an office in Frankfurt at some point,’ he said.
All account directors will report to Sawyer as well as Guy Hayward, the
W&K account director for Nike local European markets.
Michael Prieve and Bob Moore, W&K Amsterdam’s creative directors,
explained that the new staff would serve as front-line client service
Creative development will remain centred in Amsterdam, although ‘the
local account people will help Amsterdam tap into local freelance
creative resources as needed,’ Moore said.
Agency sources said that a two-year analysis of how to improve brand service in local markets finally began to take shape this summer.
Sources also said that Nike Europe has reacted ‘very positively’ to the
agency expansion plan. ‘It sees it as a way to maintain the integrity of
the brand across markets,’ a source explained.
W&K said that no local agency was currently planned for the UK, where
Nike has a strong relationship with Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow and
Johnson. ‘Nike doesn’t want us to open one,’ Sawyer confirmed. But he
said the satellite agency idea could be expanded into other regions of
the world, notably Asia.
Sawyer added that other W&K clients, such as Microsoft, could also stand
to benefit from the agency’s new European structure.