Hornets Tip Off Creative Tilt

DALLAS The New Orleans Hornets has issued requests for proposals for its creative account to six agencies, sources said.

The shops that are expected to return the proposals are independents Zehnder Communications and Trumpet, both of New Orleans, and former incumbent Boone/Oakley of Charlotte, N.C. Independents Peter A. Mayer Advertising, Logan Marketing & Communications and Keating Magee, all of New Orleans, also received questionnaires but said they would decline to participate, sources said.

The National Basketball Association team has been handling creative and media duties in-house for the past year; it is expected to continue placing its media.

The Hornets have used the services of both Boone/Oakley and Keating Magee in the past.

Boone/Oakley won the then $1 million account in 1998 when the creative pair, John Boone and David Oakley, worked for The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., in Charlotte. In 2000, the duo established their own shop, taking the Hornets with them.

In January 2002 the client hired Keating to promote advance ticket sales, which would help determine whether the team could move from Charlotte to New Orleans. The agency’s campaign generated enough sales of season tickets, premium seating and corporate sponsorships to justify moving the franchise last year.

The client could not be reached for comment. The creative account, with fees and production, totals only $100,000, sources said.