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New Balance Parts Ways With Agency of Record Arnold Worldwide After 6 Years

Activewear brand to consolidate its global marketing spend

Arnold won the business away from BBDO in 2010. Image courtesy of New Balance.

International sneaker brand New Balance has decided to end its relationship with global creative agency of record Arnold Worldwide after six years.

Amy Dow, head of corporate communications at New Balance, told Adweek, "New Balance is extremely proud of the six years of excellent work that Arnold has done on our behalf. As a global brand, we are evaluating our future agency structure and reviewing our portfolio."

New Balance appears to be consolidating its global marketing efforts in the interest of efficiency and consistent messaging around the world, and the company will not renew its pre-existing contract with Arnold when that agreement expires on June 30.

Arnold Worldwide first won global agency of record status on the business in 2010; prior to that point, creative duties had been shared by Omnicom's BBDO New York and independent agency Mother. The win was driven, at least in part, by New Balance CEO Robert DeMartini's existing relationship with Arnold, which first developed while he served as a marketing executive at Gillette and Tyson Foods. Two years later, the partnership expanded as New Balance chose Arnold's Toronto office as its Canadian agency of record.

The agency and client worked together on an assortment of campaigns throughout their relationship, and last summer Arnold debuted its anthem spot "The Storm" as New Balance attempted to move beyond footwear with the help of some 17 professional athletes.

"New Balance has decided to move towards greater consolidation across their roster of agencies," said an Arnold spokesperson. "Our engagement with them will be completed at the end of June. We've had a great six year partnership, and wish them the best of luck."

While the future status of the global New Balance account remains unclear, the company has worked with a number of international agencies, most recently partnering with London-based independent shop ZAK to target European football fans.

Company spokespeople did not comment on whether they plan to launch a creative agency review.

According to Kantar Media, New Balance spent approximately $29 million on paid media in the U.S. from January to September of 2015, the most recent period for which related data is available. That total marks an increase from 2014, when the company spent $25 million during the full calendar year.

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