GFC Wins Nike Project

Continuing to add shops to its roster, Nike has awarded an estimated $1-3 million retail advertising assignment to Good Fast Creative after a search.
The 2-year-old San Francisco agency–founded by John Benson and Ward Evans, former creative executives at Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco–will create point-of-sale and other retail ads for Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike.
Ads will support Nike’s snowboarding, all-condition gear and running divisions in an effort to “reconnect Nike at the retail level” with the “hardcore athlete,” Evans said. Nike executives declined to comment.
“Nike wants to get back in touch with the spirit of true athletes,” said Evans. The assignment was previously handled in-house.
Evans said Nike’s retail marketing unit started talking with shops several months ago about the project. The search was delayed when the company struggled this spring with weak earnings, said sources. Nike is continuing to talk to other Bay Area agencies about retail and design projects, said sources.
GFC is now at work on its first campaign for Nike, Evans said. In-store ads will appear in “specialty” sports shops throughout the U.S. this fall, but not in the Niketown retail outlets. The agency will not work directly with Nike’s two lead ad agencies, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, and Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., Evans added.
Goodby is currently creating a campaign for Nike’s Alpha brand of premium apparel, which will be launched next year. Wieden announced it is laying off 37 staffers in response to ad budget cuts from Nike [Adweek, June 15].