New Balance today confirmed hiring Arnold for its ad account, a move reported on June 1 by Adweek.com.
The business includes duties currently split between Omnicom Group's BBDO in New York and independent Mother in New York, per sources. Media duties are not shifting and remain at Omnicom Group's PHD in New York. (The company would not address the standing of its other roster shops.)
New Balance's major media spending totaled $12 million last year, down from nearly $30 million in 2008, according to Nielsen. Those figures don't include online spending.
The shift was driven in part by Arnold's past relationship with Robert DeMartini, the CEO of New Balance, according to sources. DeMartini knows the Havas agency from his days at Gillette and Tyson Foods. The agency's experience with sports-related clients -- including Titleist, Madison Square Garden and the Miami Dolphins -- was also a key factor in New Balance's decision.
"New Balance is one of those great brands that every agency wants to work with," said Andrew Benett, agency CEO. "It's a company devoted to innovation, technology and, above all else, its valued customers. We couldn't be more excited to partner with New Balance and help shape its next chapter of success."
Arnold will handle the business out of its Boston office.
Arnold has enjoyed a string of account acquisitions since December that includes Alberto Culver, Panasonic, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Boiron and CVS.
This story updates and replaces an earlier item with client confirmation and other details.