Deutsch Reunites With Sports Authority

NEW YORK Two months after reuniting with former client Snapple, Deutsch has taken back media planning and buying duties on The Sports Authority.

In addition, the Interpublic Group agency, via its partnership with sister shop MWW Group here, will handle public relations tasks related to new store openings next year. The Englewood, Colo.-based retailer, which last year spent nearly $50 million in major measured media, according to TNS Media Intelligence, operates more than 450 stores in 45 states.

From mid-2005 until the end of 2007, the shop’s deutschMedia unit worked for Sports Authority. The client left after hiring independent DeVito/Verdi in New York.

Now, Sports Authority has split with DeVito/Verdi, raising questions about its creative account as well. Trish Mueller, senior vice president of marketing and advertising, declined to discuss her plans for that piece of the business, but the company is believed to have enough work in the can for now. What they’ll do going forward, however, is “still up in the air,” said a source.

Regarding the reunion with Deutsch, Mueller said: “Deutsch was a great partner before and we expect them to do great things again.”

The business returned to deutschMedia without a review. “They called up a month ago, and said, ‘Listen, we want to come back,'” said Peter Gardiner, partner and chief media officer at Deutsch in New York. “We’ve got a pretty good record of bringing clients back.”

Snapple, a Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages brand, returned to the agency in early October, after four years at MDC Partners’ Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York. That reunion came two years after Deutsch reclaimed DirecTV and Ikea, two years and six years, respectively, after each client had exited.