6 Play for Fleer/SkyBox Cards

Six undisclosed contenders are vying for lead agency status in a review being conducted by Fleer/SkyBox sports trading cards, the client said.
All but one of the shops is headquartered in New York, according to sources. The client, which is located in Mount Laurel, N.J., would not identify the agencies in contention but said a decision is expected this week.
The prevailing agency will work on a project basis, creating print advertising for SkyBox football, baseball and basketball cards. In addition, the client wants help with product design and to reposition its cards with a “hip-hop” image, said Gretchen Millspaugh, marketing director at the company.
Stoner Bunting Advertising, located in Lancaster, Pa., handles the media portion of the business.
Previously, Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow of Raleigh, N.C., handled the creative portion of the account for the client, also on a project basis. That shop, however, is not participating in this current review, according to Millspaugh. Executives at the agency could not be reached at press time.
Advertising spending for the assignment in questions was not disclosed. From January to October last year, however, Fleer/SkyBox spent about $2 million on advertising, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The year before it spent nearly $3 million.
Fleer/SkyBox’s last advertising print campaign was tagged, “Make your own rules.” One ad featured a closeup of a hand holding a basketball with a quote from Detroit Pistons star Grant Hill: “You don’t get into the game as much as the game gets into you.”
The client’s main competitors are Topps and Upper Deck. Fleer/Skybox is a unit of the Marvel Entertainment Group, New York, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1996.

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