6 Vie for Fleer Sports Cards

Six agencies are vying for lead agency status in a review held by Fleer/SkyBox sports trading cards, the client said.
All but one of the shops is in New York, sources said. The client, of Mount Laurel, N.J., would not identify contenders, but said a decision is expected this week.
The prevailing agency will work on a project basis, creating print ads 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 of Lancaster, Pa., handles media chores.
Previously, Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow, Raleigh, N.C., handled creative for the client, also on a project basis. That shop is not participating in the review, Millspaugh said. Executives at the agency could not be reached at press time.
Spending 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 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.