Translation Wins the NBA

By Patrick Coffee 

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In news we didn’t have time to post yesterday, the National Basketball Association picked Steve Stoute’s Translation as its creative AOR after a short review.

The league surprised many within the industry by breaking with its longtime agency GS&P (which had been AOR since 2007 and worked with the client for more than 20 years) in September. Speculation held that the NBA wanted to move in a more “aggressive” direction with its campaigns after hiring veteran marketer Pam El as its first CMO since the 1990s and signing a deal to increase media exposure in 2015; like the NFL, it aims to draw in more “casual fans.”

Andrew McMains of Adweek attributed Translation’s advantage, in part, to Stoute’s relationship with El, who held the same position at State Farm and worked with the agency before moving to Nationwide.

Agency co-founder Jay-Z’s name does not appear in any related trade reports.