After a nationwide search, outdoorwear fabric company Outlast Technologies has zeroed in on four finalists for its expanded international ad account.
The Boulder, Colo., client seeks a partner for a "definitive" consumer marketing push, after years of trade advertising to the sporting goods industry, said marketing director Katie Hoffner, who is spearheading the review. She did not disclose billings, but industry estimates put them at $6-10 million.
The contenders are Cole & Weber, Seattle; Leagas Delaney, San Francisco; The Richards Group, Dallas; and The Integer Group, Denver.
Incumbent MPH Strategic Brand Communications, Boulder, declined to participate in the pitch, said agency officials. A final decision could come as soon as this week.
The winner will produce a North American and European branding campaign aimed at outdoor sports consumers. Hoffner, who joined the company in January, said the media mix is still under discussion, and may include TV. Last year MPH produced a series of portrait-style print ads that ran in the trade press.
Outlast markets a "microthermal" material that is woven into fabrics, fibers and foams to absorb, store and release body heat. This keeps the temperature underneath Outlast-treated apparel at a steady comfort level.
The privately owned, 9-year-old company licenses its product applications to companies including Nordica, Eddie Bauer, Vasque, Wickers, Starr Gloves and Wigwam. Sales are split evenly between North America and Europe, said Hoffner.
The process is used in a variety of products, including parkas, vests, snowsuits, gloves, footwear, blankets and workwear. Unlike rivals such as Gore-Tex, the Outlast brand has been relatively unknown to consumers of high-performance clothes, a situation the new agency is charged with remedying.