Richards Scores AMF

AMF Bowling Worldwide of Richmond, Va., assigned its $10-15 million advertising account to The Richards Group late last week. The Dallas agency won the business in competition against Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis.
AMF vice president of marketing Merrell Wreden praised Richards’ creative strength and retail experience on accounts like Home Depot and Motel 6 as the reason the agency secured the business.
Agency president Stan Richards could not be reached for comment at press time.
The incumbent, Mumford Marketing in Richmond, will continue to work with the client in an unspecified role. Mumford won the account in early 1997.
The Martin Agency in Richmond also made the finals of the AMF review. It withdrew before final presentations, citing preparations for other new business pitches and work for existing clients. The presentations, which did not include speculative creative work, were held last week at the client.
Hampel/Stefanides and Merkley Newman Harty, both in New York, and Chicago Creative Partnership were included in the six shops originally considered for the business.
The company’s three main divisions are AMF Bowling Products, AMF Bowling Centers and AMF Playmaster, its billiards unit.
AMF’s closest rival is Brunswick, a longtime client of Oklahoma City-based Ackerman McQueen, which services it from its Dallas office.
AMF’s 1997 sales amounted to $714 million, a 30 percent rise over 1996, per Hoover’s Online. The company’s net income was $55 million.
An initial public offering last fall raised $284 million, which was used to reduce debt and raise capital for growth and acquisitions.
AMF spent just $4 million on advertising last year, per Competitive Media Reporting.