2 Playful Clients Tap Bates USA West

Bates USA West has captured new clients in the toy and sporting goods categories, adding an estimated $11 million in combined billings.
Wham-O, makers of the Hula Hoop and Frisbee, selected the Irvine, Calif., agency to handle its estimated $6 million toy account, without a review. Previous advertising had been handled by various Southern California agencies.
“Within the next year we intend to focus on the company’s core business,” said Bates account supervisor Jeremy Skiver. “Wham-O has the potential to grow into a world-leading toy company within the next five years.”
The agency plans to utilize “heavy” TV advertising to revitalize the company’s brands, Skiver said.
The Torrance, Calif.-based company’s other brands include Hacky Sack, Trac-Ball, Morey Bodyboards and Churchill Swimfins. Wham-O bought the Morey brand from Mattel Sports late last year.
Separately, the agency has picked up Outback Mountainboards after a review that included three other undisclosed shops. Billings are estimated at $3-5 million. The Seattle-based all-terrain skateboard maker is planning its first foray into consumer advertising with print work as well as TV spots on cable sports networks.
“In the surf, snow and skate world in Southern California, there is tremendous opportunity for agencies to get involved with clients on a grassroots level,” Skiver said.
Outback recently introduced its Mountainboard product, which consists of a skateboard base, three rugged, 12-inch knobby tires and a foot brake mounted against the back tire assembly. It is designed to appeal to snowboarders, skateboarders and surfers.
Bates is currently among the contenders for Legoland California’s estimated $10 million account. Agencies are giving final presentations in that review this week, with a decision expected soon.