Last month we reported that Sprint, which had gradually been moving more of its marketing work in-house after launching its own content studio, was rumored to be nearing the end of its two-year relationship with Deutsch.
Today we can confirm, via sources with direct knowledge of the matter, that the entirety of the telecom giant’s account has gone to Droga5 without a review. Deutsch’s Los Angeles office initially beat out Arnold to win the business in November 2014, with the client publicizing that news more than a month later.
Deutsch declined to comment, but we did speak to Sprint for the Adweek news story, and Droga5 sent us this quote from its founder: “A bold mandate, strong leadership, a great product and a real desire for a genuine partnership, makes for the most incredible of opportunities. We couldn’t be more excited.”
This series of changes all started late last year, when Sprint named former SVP of Hispanic marketing and president of Sprint Puerto Rico Roger Solé as its new CMO and proceeded to begin streamlining its marketing operations in an effort to cut costs. This meant less work for Deutsch, which had been developing a production unit dedicated to the client but saw those efforts supplanted by Sprint’s own Yellow Fan Studios. (A round of downsizing at Deutsch’s Los Angeles office this spring characterized the changing relationship between agency and client.)
In response to our queries about Sprint’s business last month, Solé wrote: “Deutsch is one of our go-to creative partners and most recently launched the ‘1 Percent’ campaign featuring Paul Marcarelli. This week we released our new ‘Boardroom’ campaign by the Deutsch team and have been working with them on our holiday briefing.”
Droga5 will handle strategy and brand work while Yellow Fan will create regional spots and manage production. As Sprint put it, the two will work “in collaboration figuring out the best, most efficient way to get world-class creative done.”
According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, Sprint spent $765 million on measured media in 2013, $763 million in 2015 and $305 million during the first six months of this year.