Ballpark Is New Home of Easton Sports Unit

LOS ANGELES Easton Sports has tapped The Ballpark to handle advertising for its baseball and softball division, the client said.

The independent shop in Santa Monica, Calif., won the account following a review that included one other undisclosed Southern California finalist. The business was previously with independent Bulldog Drummond in San Diego, which retains Easton’s hockey account. Advertising for Easton’s third division, the bicycle products group, is handled in-house.

Billings were undisclosed, and media tracking services recorded no recent ad spending.

According to Mike Zlaket, vice president of Easton Sports in Van Nuys, Calif., the company chose to move its account because it wanted to “freshen things up from a creative perspective and help grow the business in the future.” Regarding The Ballpark, he said, “I really liked their combination of human resources—everything from creative to account representatives. I liked the creative direction I saw, I liked the way they demonstrated a strategic understanding of our sport and our business.”

While Easton has built a reputation as an amateur baseball and softball brand, the company wants to be the “world’s premier baseball and softball brand, period,” said Zlaket.

The Ballpark is charged with providing strategic counsel and handling creative and design duties for print, radio, television and online advertising, as well as creating Easton’s 2004 baseball and softball product catalog. The shop will also perform media planning and buying.

A print campaign, titled “Play with it. Or against it,” is slated to launch in early spring in national trade publications. While Easton’s baseball and softball division does not currently run television advertising, it will have some placements due to its sponsorship of Softball 360-Degrees, a national TV series highlighting weekly softball action that begins an 18-week run on July 5 on local Fox Sports Net affiliates.