$75 Mil. Six Flags Signs MindShare

DALLAS Six Flags said it has contracted MindShare to handle its national media buying business following a review. The assignment had been with Doner.

Southfield, Mich.-based Doner, an independent shop, is also a contender in a separate ongoing review for Six Flags’ creative assignment, sources said. It is competing against a field of undisclosed shops.

The Oklahoma City-based client spent $75 million in measured media last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

“We’re continually broadening our knowledge of the media and messages that will resonate with Six Flags guests and potential guests, and working with MindShare will help us develop the right solutions for understanding how to best reach them in key media markets across the U.S.,” said Mike Antinoro, Six Flags’ evp of entertainment and marketing, in a statement.

New York-based MindShare is a WPP Group agency. In January, Six Flags hired WPP’s OgilvyOne to handle direct and interactive marketing [Adweek Online, Jan. 12]. Other contenders in the media review were undisclosed.

Six Flags has declined to discuss details of the creative search.

In a review two years ago, Doner overcame independent incumbent Ackerman McQueen in Oklahoma City, as well as Publicis Groupe’s Fallon in Minneapolis and Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif.

Doner subsequently launched the company’s first national campaign featuring a character known as “Mr. Six.”

Mark Shapiro, the new chief executive at Six Flags, was hired to turn the company around after a lengthy proxy fight launched by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

Shapiro is looking to take the company beyond its “theme-park” positioning. As a preliminary step in that direction, Six Flags yesterday said it created a New York-based entertainment and marketing department under Antinoro.