Atlantic 10 Huddles With Conover

Conover Tuttle has been chosen by the Atlantic 10 Conference as the college sports association’s first lead agency.

In that capacity, the independent shop in Lynnfield, Mass., will craft marketing programs for the league’s men’s basketball teams. Conover will promote the conference to potential TV viewers, corporate partners, and even high-school players and coaches in an effort to boost recruitment at member schools, said Atlantic 10 commissioner Linda Bruno.

Though the assignment consists mainly of public relations and community outreach, Conover will also work on event marketing initiatives and corporate identity materials. It may also help the conference develop broadcast marketing strategies.

Conover bested Edelman PR, New York, and Alan Taylor Communications, Philadelphia, in a review. Billings were not disclosed.

Conover’s first work will be market research on consumers’ perceptions of the Atlantic 10. “We need the best possible understanding of how our brand is perceived,” Bruno said.

The 15-person shop, which specializes in sports marketing, has worked with the PGA of America, the Women’s United Soccer Association and the XFL.

Conover wants to capitalize on its specialty to expand in a niche that has remained strong despite the general economic downturn, said agency evp Chip Tuttle. Roughly half of the shop’s clients are involved in sports. The goal for the next three to five years is to have golf-related business—an especially strong area of expertise—contribute about a third of the agency’s revenue, Tuttle has said.