Archer Gets Into the Racquets

Ektelon, a manufacturer of racquetball equipment, has named Archer/Malmo its lead advertising agency.

The Memphis, Tenn., shop was awarded the business after Erin Reynolds, who had handled the account for crosstown incumbent Design Group, joined Archer/Malmo late last year.

“Erin had provided Ektelon with tremendous account service,” said agency executive vice president MaryCaywood. “At the same time, the client was looking for a full-service capability to further promote themselves in the market.”

Billings are undisclosed, but will total less than $1 million, sources said.

A print, direct marketing and collateral campaign, initially built around the signing of Canadian superstar Kane Waselenchuk to Team Ektelon, kicks off next month in Racquetball Magazine.

The Bordentown, N.J., client, a division of Benetton SportSystem USA, has relied upon a string of technological innovations to compete against the Wilson and Head brands.

“Racquetball is a real aggressive, powerful and fast-moving sport that is begging for some cool ads,” said Jay Cooper, creative director on the account. “The competition tried to hang on to the business, but we went in there and showed we wanted it more.”

The review began after Memphis hosted the U.S. (Racquetball) Open last fall. The Mississippi River city is developing a reputation as a mecca for the sport. Over the last two decades, the University of Memphis has dominated the NCAA racquetball championships.