Mizuno Moves to Huey/Paprocki

Mizuno USA has as-signed its advertising account to Huey/Paprocki.

The shop competed, sources said, against two other Atlanta-based agencies, Ames Scullin O’Haire and BaylessCronin, along with a number of undisclosed contenders to win the sporting goods company’s estimated$1 million domestic business. (Bill-ings on the account were $447,000 in 2001, per CMR, a figure surpassed by second-quarter 2002.)

The incumbent on the account was KB Partners in Greenville, S.C.

“Our portfolio of work and our ability to boil down relatively complicated ideas and make them simple and easy to digest won the business,” said partner Joe Paprocki.

That portfolio, Paprocki said, in-cluded case histories from the shop’s Nancy Lopez Golf and Atlanta History Center accounts.

“There was great chemistry be-tween our teams,” said Lisa Mark, senior director of marketing services for Mizuno USA. Both Paprocki, a runner, and partner Ron Huey are self-described “golf and baseball fanatics.”

Mizuno manufactures and distributes golf, soccer, track and field, volleyball and baseball equipment. The company’s golf clubs and baseball products have made significant inroads on the PGA Tour and among Major League Baseball teams, respectively, in recent years.

“Our goal is always to go after national and international brands,” said Huey. “So Mizuno is a good place to be.”

Over the last decade, the account moved from Fitzgerald + Co. in Atlanta to The Westlake Group (later Kirkman Westlake Bowman and KB Partners) in Greenville, a result, one source said, of the client’s seeking traction against big-spending competitors like Nike and Adidas.

“Mizuno is well branded,” said Paprocki. “Now, it’s a matter of coming up with messages that hit home across all these audiences.”

The failure to project a unified brand image, sources said, has been an issue that has frustrated agencies holding the account. That problem has been exacerbated by relatively small media expenditures, sources said.

The shop’s initial assignment involves producing print advertising scheduled to break in sports enthusiasts magazines like Runners’ World early next year.

The client, a division of Japanese conglomerate Mizuno Corporation, is headquartered in Norcross, Ga.