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Athletic Training Franchise Picks CHD

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ATLANTA Cole Henderson Drake has added Velocity Sports Performance to its client roster, the agency said.

CHD marketing director Michael Palma likened VSP, a fledgling athletic training franchise headquartered in Atlanta, to a Sylvan Learning Center for student athletes.

The 3-year-old company focuses on athletes 8 to 18 years of age to make them "faster, stronger and more agile," said Palma.

Established by former track and field coach Loren Seagrave, the company, now with 40 franchises, customizes performance-training programs for its students.

"In many ways, this is a better advertising opportunity than even Nike," said Chris Jacobs, CHD's executive creative director. "Nike sells performance based on shoes and apparel. Velocity is selling performance based on training and technique."

Both Palma and Jacobs used their own backgrounds in collegiate sports to pursue the account. Jacobs was a basketball all-American at Washington & Lee in Lexington, Va. Palma coached college basketball at Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., before entering the advertising business.

"We've made a real effort to attract more sports-related business to the agency," Palma said. "It's a category we understand and have a real passion for."

According to client CEO David Walmsley, the Atlanta shop's experience in working with franchise-based companies also added to its attraction.

Work will include sales materials, collateral and print advertising. Billings are undisclosed.