Paradigm Communications has been assigned the $2.5 million account of the Bikes USA chain.
In addition to advertising, the Tampa, Fla., agency will handle public relations and promotions for the Alexandria, Va.-based retailer.
The account had been with The Bomstein Agency in Washington, D.C. The other two shops in the finals, according to Paradigm founder and partner Vince Fabrizzi, were West & Vaughan of Durham, N.C., and The Fiddler Group, also located in Washington.
The client's 18 stores in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington offer a wide selection of bikes. It is one of the top retailers of high-end brands like Trek, Fisher and Mongoose.
"The creative that we presented to them was what won the day," said Fabrizzi. "The mission was to develop a cohesive brand that makes a connection with the cycling enthusiast."
Competitors of Bikes USA, founded 20 years ago as the Bicycle Exchange, includes not only independent stores but also large chains like Toys R Us that sell a significant number of two-wheelers. Indeed, the agency pitted itself against the toy retailer when pitching the business.
"We did a movie of ourselves hunting through the jungle for the Toys R Us [giraffe] mascot," said creative director Doug Hardee.
The first significant branding campaign, which will likely use the "Seriously fun stuff" line from the agency's pitch, will break early next year. Paradigm is already working on ads to get the client through the lucrative Christmas selling season.
"Paradigm exemplified the category-killer mind-set we need to enter new markets competitively," said Mary McIntyre, director of marketing for Bikes USA.