New Balance Is Looking for a New Global Creative AOR After Splitting with Arnold

By Patrick Coffee 

In March, we posted on international sneaker brand New Balance ending its relationship with Arnold Worldwide after 6 years.

Now we can confirm that the company has launched a review to find a new global creative agency of record. AdAge first ran a story late yesterday.

At the time of the first post, the agency said, “New Balance has decided to move towards greater consolidation across their roster of agencies. Our engagement with them will be completed at the end of June.”


A client rep also stated that the company was reviewing its agency roster with a hint toward consolidation sans review: “New Balance is extremely proud of the six years of excellent work that Arnold has done on our behalf. As a global brand, we are evaluating our future agency structure and reviewing our portfolio.”

It’s unclear exactly why New Balance decided to seek a new AOR, but we understand that the review is in its earliest stages and that it’s being managed by global consulting firm R3 Worldwide.

A spokesperson for the firm declined to comment for this post.

New Balance is a privately owned business looking to increase its share of the global athletic shoe market with a particular focus on running. The company recently signed U.S. Olympic track hopeful Boris Berian as a spokesperson after he went through a contract dispute with his previous sponsor, Nike. (Nike filed a breach of contract claim against him after he competed while wearing New Balance shoes.) Late last year, the company also signed a 10-year deal to sponsor the New York Maraton. Asics had been the event’s main brand for 25 years, and various reports claimed that New Balance scored the contract by agreeing to pay more than Asics’ $3 million yearly fee.

In March, sources told us that London indie agency ZAK had inherited the lead role on New Balance’s entry to the world of European football, and BMB (which won the business last year) created the brand’s first ad after the Arnold announcement. It’s not clear at this time which agencies the client is considering for its global account.

When last we heard from Kantar Media, we learned that New Balance spent $29 million on U.S. marketing during the first nine months of 2015. That number marked a notable boost from the previous year’s totals.