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JumboSports Teams Media With Creative at Richards

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The Richards Group here has picked up media buying and planning duties worth perhaps $4 million-plus for client JumboSports.
The Tampa, Fla.-based sporting equipment and apparel retailer assigned its media business to The Richards Group after a one-year broadcast creative relationship with the agency.
JumboSports previously operated under different names localized for each market, such as Dallas Sports and Houston Sports & Recreation.
The 77-store chain's advertising spending across all markets totaled under $4 million last year, according to sources. Billings on the new assignments were undisclosed, but Richards said spending is expected to increase for 1998. Media buying and planning chores were previously at Horizon Media in New York.
JumboSports operates in 29 states and 62 markets across the country. Richards played a key role in launching the new name for the client this past year as the company streamlined operations. The retail network once numbered 85 locations.
"It makes sense to integrate the creative and media functions," said Jeanette Miller, marketing manager for JumboSports, in a statement. "We are impressed with The Richards Group's media capabilities, particularly in local markets and with respect to a retail focus."
The Richards Group came on board in December 1996 after defeating DeVito/Verdi of New York. Another contender, Nova Marketing in Boston, retained print and circular duties at that time.
The win is another boost for Richards' media department, which recently retained $10 million in broadcast buying and planning assignments from Eye Care Centers of America, the nation's fourth-largest optical retailer operating under the EyeMasters, Visionworks and Binyon's brand names.