Converse In Search Of ‘Iconic Status’

Converse wants the winner of its estimated $5 million account to create a TV and print campaign that reinforces the “iconic status of the Chuck Taylor brand,” increases Converse’s relevance to sports and consumers’ lifestyles, and rebuilds its “legitimacy” in the performance-basketball category, according to the RFP.

According to the questionnaire sent out by Converse director of brand development Erick Soderstrom, “The brand has not reconnected to consumers in the performance-basketball category, a key objective in developing a strong business over time.”

A subsidiary of Nike since September, Converse will hear pitches from at least three finalists, sources said, including MDC Partners-backed Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and independent Mother, both in New York, and independent Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners in Sausalito, Calif., sources said.

Final presentations were postponed from this week to later in April; one source said the delay was due to the client’s workload.

Executives at the agencies either did not return calls or referred inquiries to the client, which did not return calls.

Converse and independent shop Modernista! in Boston mutually ended their three-year relationship earlier this month.

The client’s most recent campaign, tagged, “The freshman class of the First School,” broke in November, featuring NBA rookies such as Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors) and Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) as they transitioned to the pros.

“Their business is based on fashion,” said one source. “What they need to do is to sustain their fashion strength but also build up the performance shoe.”