New Balance Names Mediahub Its U.S. Media Agency of Record

The MullenLowe-owned shop will lean on its R+D Lab

New Balance names Mediahub its new AOR, replacing PGR. New Balance
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New Balance announced today it has chosen Mediahub, Adweek’s 2017 U.S. Media Agency of the Year and the media arm of IPG-owned MullenLowe, as its U.S. agency of record following a review.

The account will be handled by Mediahub’s flagship Boston office, as the athletic brand’s global headquarters is also housed in the city.

“We are excited to welcome Mediahub to our North American marketing team, as their commitment to creativity and challenging the status quo aligns with our vision,” said Meg Johnson, New Balance’s director of North American marketing, in a statement. “Mediahub’s award-winning Radical + Disruptive Lab offers us unique opportunities to help drive our business forward with purpose and innovation.”

Mediahub replaces Boston-based indie shop PGR Media, which won the New Balance account in 2011. WPP’s VML still appears to be New Balance’s creative agency of record. It is not clear if PGR tried to defend the account.

Mediahub’s work for New Balance will include supporting product launches this summer using a creative-driven approach to strategic communications planning and media buying. The agency touted its aforementioned R+D Lab for helping secure the win.

The lab, led by Laurel Boyd (one of Adweek’s top Creative 100 leaders), is the creative hub of Mediahub. Leveraging data and analytics in unique ways, the R+D Lab is behind some of the most interesting media campaigns in recent years including one that found a way to bypass digital ad blockers for Netflix’s Black Mirror. When savvy tech nerds tried blocking ads for the series’ third season, they were met with this message: “Hello, ad blocker user. You cannot see the ad. But the ad can see you. What’s on the other side of your black mirror?”

“We are thrilled to team up with New Balance, as their commitment to creativity will allow us to work in fun and different ways to connect with athletes and consumers across the U.S.,” added Sean Corcoran, Mediahub’s executive director of the Americas, in a statement. “Our creativity will be infused throughout the work from activating, targeting and engaging to optimizing on the back end to drive business results.”

New Balance spent $14.1 million on measured media in the U.S. last year and $1.2 million in the first half of 2018, according to Kantar Media.

Today’s announcement comes off a robust year of wins for Mediahub. In 2017, the rising media shop won the accounts of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Chipotle, MTV and Ulta Beauty, among others. In May, Adweek named Mediahub’s global president, John Moore, media executive of the year.

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.