Atlanta Braves Begins Agency Tryouts

ATLANTA The Atlanta Braves has sent out about a dozen requests for proposals in a search for a new agency to handle its advertising account, according to Derek Schiller, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the team.

Schiller began holding conference calls with the agencies this week. Shops will be invited to make presentations to the team during the first week of January. The franchise expects to make a final selection by the middle of January, Schiller said.

The incumbent, independent Atlanta shop Blue Sky, also received the RFP and has been invited to defend the account. The Braves assigned its account to the shop last year without a review.

Schiller declined to identify the agencies that received the questionnaires, but said they all have a “significant presence” in Atlanta. He declined to disclose the marketing budget, but sources estimated it at less than $1 million annually.

The new agency will provide creative and marketing strategy assistance to the team. The Major League Baseball club buys media placements through RET Media, a division of Turner Broadcasting System. Turner owned the team until Time Warner acquired TBS in 1996 in a $7.5 billion deal that included the Braves.

The Braves advertise on regional television and radio stations, local publications and billboards.