Mizuno Launches Agency Review After McKinney Resignation

By Patrick Coffee 

Shoemaker Mizuno is currently conducting an agency review.

The Japanese footwear brand’s contract with Durham’s McKinney, which inherited the business from Shine almost exactly three years ago, will not be renewed when it expires at the end of February.

A McKinney spokesperson writes:

We can confirm that McKinney is ending its partnership with Mizuno and it was a great run with five Effies, a WARC Prize for Social Strategy and Most Effective Brand in North America. Mizuno is a challenger brand with limited resources and we couldn’t be prouder to have produced such  groundbreaking work. We are actively pursuing a number of other, larger scale opportunities.

After this post went live, McKinney clarified that it had resigned the account.

The agency’s most recent campaign for Mizuno was “What If Everybody Ran,” which included the brand’s first-ever US TV spot along with a corresponding webpage and social media push; the project earned coverage in The New York Times.

A source told us several weeks ago, however, that the client wants its marketing strategy to focus less on video ads moving forward — a sentiment that fits with McKinney’s statement regarding budgetary concerns.

We know that Mizuno is currently involved in an (unannounced) agency review, and a source claims that BBDO Atlanta is one of the shops pitching for the business. The client has not responded to multiple requests for comment.