Cohn Godley Scores Sports Apparel

Hub Shop to Fashion Print-Based Effort That Asks, ‘Are You a Fan?’
BOSTON–The nation’s second-largest manufacturer of sports apparel has tapped Cohn Godley Norwood here for advertising duties.
Pro Player, a subsidiary of Fruit of the Loom in Bowling Green, Ky., selected the agency after an informal review of Boston and New York shops. Billings were estimated at $3 million.
“They get it,” said Mike Martin, Pro Player’s director of retail marketing, of the Boston shop. “They had a good mixture of copywriting, strong print media and, most importantly, [a cultural connection] to sports marketing.”
The review was initiated by Martin, who joined Pro Player six months ago from Stoughton, Mass.-based Reebok International, where he served as director of marketing for the Northeast region.
The account was previously serviced by Harris Drury Cohen in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who wrote Pro Player’s previous tagline: “You have a life. Look good in it.”
That agency’s location, far from the client’s Hudson, N.H., headquarters, made interaction difficult and contributed to Martin’s decision to seek a shop closer to home, he said.
Pro Player has licensing agreements with the five major professional sports leagues–the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer–and more than 80 Division I NCAA teams. In addition, Pro Player Stadium in Miami will host the Super Bowl this January.
“They have very strong brand recognition but unfortunately no one knows what business they’re in,” said agency president Ben Godley. A print campaign scheduled to break in January will introduce a new tagline: “Pro Player. Are you a fan?”
The ads will target 18-54-year-old men who are “die-hard sports fans and who like to vicariously share in the success of their teams by wearing sports apparel,” said Ken Dec, Cohn Godley’s senior vice president of marketing.
Ads will appear in Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine and The Sporting News, as well as in Pro Player Stadium itself.
Cohn Godley will produce television and print executions to launch the Pro Player brand in the NHL. The client recently inked a deal to outfit half of the league’s 30 teams for the 1999 season. That campaign will feature Pittsburgh Penguins’ all-star forward Jaromir Jagr.