DeVito/Verdi Wins Sports Authority

CHICAGO The Sports Authority has tapped independent DeVito/Verdi as lead agency on its $35 million account after a six-month review, the client has confirmed.

The New York shop will handle advertising, promotions, media and nontraditional marketing for the Englewood, Colo., company, and will have input on all aspects of its advertising, from print and broadcast to collateral and online.

“While we saw many compelling presentations from different agencies, it was clear to us that the team at DeVito/Verdi understood the need to drive sales while building our brand,” said David Campisi, Sports Authority president, in a statement. “They tied the media strategy and creative directly to performance, demonstrating their expertise in four-wall retailing down to a level of detail we had not previously seen.”

MDC-backed Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, won creative duties on the account in January 2004. It was unclear if the shop was the current incumbent on the account.

Contenders and billings were not disclosed. The Sports Authority spent $35 million on advertising last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. DeVito/Verdi also recently landed lead agency duties for fashion and specialty retail chain Stein Mart.