We’ve written about Barkley, an advertising agency in Kansas City, twice this month. The agency is clearly on a massive press junket as there’s more news to report. Stuart Elliot recently covered the agency’s sponsorship of a 12-member cycling team for Hincapie Sportswear, a company in Greenville, S.C., that specializes in apparel for cycling, biking and outdoor recreation. Cost? Fifty thousand dollars.
“The goal of the agencyâ€™s stake in the Hincapie Barkley development team, as it is called, is to gain nitty-gritty experience in sports marketing as well as marketing to consumers who are young â€” or young at heart.
â€œItâ€™s a great way, a unique way, to get information we can use for existing clients or new clients,” said Brian Brooker, chief executive and chief creative officer at Barkley, which until 2006 was known as Barkley Evergreen & Partners.
â€œIf weâ€™re in a pitch for any account in the active lifestyle field, itâ€™s instant credibility,” he added.
Barkley is taking part in a trend that is meant to reshape the way agencies earn profits, experience and, to some degree, respect. The intent is to look beyond traditional services like creating advertisements, buying commercial time or planning media schedules.
In some instances, agencies are going into business with clients by taking ownership stakes in companies or sharing revenue from the sales of products that the agencies advertise.”
We love that everyone and their mom is trying to unravel the riddle of how agencies are going to earn dollars in the future. It seems someone is always working out a new angle. While this bike team sponsorship isn’t as big as Gyro Worldwide, a Philadelphia agency, creating the retail brand, Sailor Jerry, or Crispin Porter & Bogusky taking an equity stake in cleaning products company, Method, this is a new way to get some credibility in a segment of the business. Barkley is aligning themselves with a sport and its enthusiasts, while learning a new part of the biz. Good for them. Branch out advertising agencies. Fly! Fly!