Former Washington Redskins executive Stephen Baldacci has become a partner at E. James White Communications. Beginning today, the agency will operate as White & Baldacci.
Baldacci, who served as president of business operations and chief marketing officer for the NFL team, joins Matt White, chairman and CEO of the Herndon, Va., independent agency.
Baldacci's arrival also signals a change in the agency's management model. White said W&B will shift its focus from creative resource to marketing consultant.
"Management consulting firms like KPMG and Andersen have tread on advertising's domain, but they don't have the creative ability," White said. "There's a void in this area of the country for a sophisticated full-service agency. "
White said he will promote the shop's independence. "Not everyone can work with an agency owned by a holding company where motivations can be swayed by quarterly profits," White said. "Our independence lets us focus on client needs."
W&B wants to pitch directly to client executive officers. "Most agencies deal with the marketing people, but the decision comes down to the CEO," said White.
Baldacci said his consultative approach will allow the agency to operate across all marketing channels. "One of the most evident trends I've seen in working with the range of clients at the Redskins is the movement of clients to focus on specific areas that are advantageous and comprehensive," he said.
The relationships Baldacci forged with team sponsors such as Federal Express, Lockheed Martin and Nextel could, sources said, help open new-business doors at an agency that has focused primarily on government, travel and technology clients.
Baldacci's résumé lists four years with the NFL squad under owner Dan Snyder. Before that, he worked at Snyder's agency, Snyder Communications, which was sold to Paris-based Havas in 2000.