An athletic shoe maker has decided that it's time to play ball with agencies.
And 1, a basketball apparel and athletic footwear marketer, has launched a search for a shop to handle its estimated $3 million account, according to sources. The Posemont, Pa.-based client has contacted about eight shops, including Bulldog Drummond, San Diego; The Lord Group and DCA Advertising, both New York; Crispin Porter, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Holland Mark Martin Edmund, Boston; and undisclosed others. The list also includes shops in Philadelphia, close to the client, sources said.
The contenders will make creative presentations to And 1 early this week, said sources. A winner could be named as soon as this Friday, said sources.
The client did not return calls at press time. Agency executives declined to comment on the review.
The client has been without an agency since parting ways with The Brownstein Group, Philadelphia, in May. That shop had handled And 1's media, creative and public relations duties for two and a half years, according to agency president Marc Brownstein. The agency will not be pitching the business, he said.
"They're good people," Brownstein said of his former client. "I truly hope they succeed."
The company's previous advertising consisted of TV spots that aired on ESPN, ESPN2, MTV, BET and other cable stations. Print work included two-page spreads in Slam, The Source, NBA Inside Source and other sports enthusiast magazines.
The company recently signed athletes Raef LaFrentz and Larry Hughes to be its official endorsers, replacing Stephon Marbury of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves. Marbury, who had an And 1 shoe line named after him, served as the company's main endorser for the past two years.
Founded in 1993, And 1 registered $28 million in sales for 1997, according to industry reports.
--with Terry Lefton