New CEO Brings Golf Client, Former Colleagues in Tow
LOS ANGELES–It’s difficult to separate agency executives from their golf clubs–or golf accounts. Just ask Scott Gilbert, the new chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi here, and his longtime client, golf club maker Yonex Corp.
Yonex, which worked with Gilbert for five years when he was chief executive of sister agency Team One Advertising in El Segundo, Calif., has shifted its estimated $3-5 million account to the renamed Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, following Gilbert’s move there.
“I’m delighted to continue my association with Yonex,” Gilbert said. “After having improved my golf scores over the last few years, I’d hate to have to change golf clubs,” he joked.
Yonex is the first account to move between Saatchi and Team One since Gilbert became chief executive of Saatchi and Leonard Pearlstein was named to succeed him as co-chairman and chief executive of Team One. The changes, instituted by worldwide Saatchi & Saatchi chief executive Kevin Roberts, were effective Nov. 1, 1997.
Gilbert said Saatchi will continue to feature pro golfers Phil Mickelson and Scott Hoch in its advertising for Yonex. Mickelson, who has had an endorsement deal with the Torrance, Calif.-based company throughout his five-year career on the PGA Tour, recently signed a multiyear extension to play with Yonex equipment, according to Yonex president Ben Yoneyama. Chuck May, group account director at the agency, will oversee the golf/tennis account.
Since Gilbert moved to Saatchi, several current and former Team One executives have joined the agency. The latest is Sue Young, who joined as account supervisor, Promotions & Motorsports, for the agency’s flagship Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. account. Previously, Marianne Bess and Gail Brackett were brought in from Team One as management director and management supervisor respectively.
Gilbert also changed the agency’s name to Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles. It was Saatchi & Saatchi Pacific, Torrance. “It’s a recognition of who we are and where we hope to be,” he said. “Trying to establish Torrance as an advertising mecca was difficult.”
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