Nike is talking to UK agencies about the future of its business,
posing a possible threat to TBWA Simons Palmer’s seven-year hold on the
pounds 9 million account.
The sports giant has had discussions with WCRS, St Luke’s and BMP DDB.
Sports such as basketball and tennis are thought to be in the spotlight,
although Nike denies reports that it will split up its business.
Clare Dobbie, the advertising manager of Nike UK, confirmed the
discussions were taking place, but said: ’We have no current plans to
resign TBWA Simons Palmer. It is a long time since we talked to any
agencies and we want to be sure that we are working with the best
people. Nike holds advertising in high esteem and we want all our
commercials to get 11 out of ten.’
In defence of TBWA, Dobbie said that ’park life’, the current television
commercial, was ’probably the best football ad ever’. However, it is
thought that Nike has had second thoughts about its UK agency following
the merger between Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson and TBWA earlier this
Carl Johnson, the managing director of TBWA Simons Palmer, explained:
’There are as many opportunities as problems in this for us.’
Nike’s main challenge is to manage the growth of the brand, which has
doubled in size in the past three years.
Rivals such as Adidas and Reebok are catching up with the brand leader,
and the appearance of new leisure clothing brands, such as Tommy
Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren Sport, has also overturned the market.
In March, Nike handed almost dollars 50 million worth of US business to
Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. The move came soon after
the appointment of Geoffrey Frost as the director of worldwide
advertising and put an end to the exclusivity of Nike’s 15-year
relationship with Wieden and Kennedy in the US.
Nike’s relationship with Manning Gottlieb Media is unaffected.