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Brooks Sports Shoes Meets With Trio of Seattle Shops By Kathy Tyre

SEATTLE – Executives at running shoe manufacturer Brooks Sports heard presentations last week from three local agencies believed to be competing f

The agencies believed to have made pitches include Seattle shops Borders, Perrin & Norrander, Livingston & Co. and McCann-Erickson. Brooks’ current agency, Griffin Bacal/N.Y., did not participate in the review, sources said.
The executives at the shops declined to confirm their involvement. Brooks’ vp/marketing Ian Gomar said that he had met informally with local shops, but he denied that a review was taking place. Gomar said he was pleased with Griffin Bacal. ‘We have a lot of suppliers contact us, and it’s important for me to become more familiar with the local ad community,’ Gomar said. ‘I want to understand what talent the people here have.’
But other sources, who described the meetings as a review, said the move was prompted by Brooks’ relocation from Rockford, Mich., to Seattle in March. The relocation followed the acquisition in February of the company by Norwegian conglomerate Rokke Group, which bought the company from Wolverine World Wide for approximately $21 million.
Rokke’s U.S. headquarters are in Seattle, and Brooks relocated here as part of a restructuring plan aimed at broadening the market for the company’s shoes.
Brooks has gained a reputation among serious runners as a reliable brand and has received praise for its technologies, according to press reports.
But the company has lacked the splashy product attributes and consumer marketing orientation of some of its competitors.
Earlier this year, Brooks announced plans to double its advertising budget and to branch out to include active-lifestyle books with its runner’s magazine media mix.
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