Spalding Puts Greenberg in Lead

Hill, Holliday Loses $15-20 Mil. in Golf Work to Crosstown Shop
BOSTON–Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos last week lost one of its oldest clients when Spalding Sports Worldwide consolidated advertising chores for its golf brands at Greenberg Seronick O’Leary & Partners.
The assignment is a boon to the smaller Greenberg, which for the last 12 years has handled the Etonic golf shoe and glove brand. It now adds the Top-Flite, Strata and Ben Hogan brands, handled for most of the last two decades by Hill, Holliday.
Total billings are $15-20 million, according to Spalding officials. The Chicopee, Mass.-based sporting goods manufacturer spent $19.1 million on ads in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The move comes at a time when a new client management team led by former Procter & Gamble chairman Ed Artz is working doggedly to turn the business around.
“Greenberg best meets our needs going forward,” said Eddie Binder, who was named executive vice president of marketing at Spalding just four months ago.
The consolidation was somewhat of a surprise given Hill, Holliday’s relationship with Binder, who in his previous job at Dunkin’ Donuts had assigned the agency creative and media chores.
While voicing high praise for Hill, Holliday and its chairman and chief executive officer, Jack Connors, Binder said the decision to consolidate at Greenberg was made after an assessment of both incumbents. “[Greenberg is] quick to the mark and their turnaround is fast. They can think on their feet.”
The assignment creates at least five new positions at Greenberg in the account service and creative departments, according to agency president Terry O’Leary, who has a long history with Spalding.
O’Leary’s first job after leaving BBDO, New York, in the 1970s was on the Spalding business at Wilson, Haight & Welch in Hartford, Conn. He then moved to Humphrey Browning MacDougall in Boston, where he worked on Top-Flite rival Titliest for seven years. He left that shop for Leonard Monahan Saabye in Providence, R.I., which in the mid-1980s won the Spalding golf club business from Hill, Holliday.
Both O’Leary and Spalding eventually left Leonard Monahan. O’Leary joined Greenberg and reconnected with Spalding through its Etonic brand.