Goodby Gets Nike’s Ear

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners is slated to present to Nike next week ideas for the main Nike brand, a move that could result in the agency winning new ad assignments or possibly all creative duties on the $250 million global brand account, sources said.
This is the latest development to strain the relationship between Nike and Wieden & Kennedy, considered by many to be one of the most successful advertising partnerships in recent history.
“As we continue the evolution of our brand, we need to talk to both of our agencies,” said Geoffrey Frost, Nike’s director of global advertising. “We are committed and thrilled with both of them. This is not a pitch.” Asked if these talks could result in a reassignment of ad duties, he added, “We always have to figure out where to put stuff. We need to see how Goodby sees its own future.”
Last week, Goodby declined competing apparel company Levi Strauss & Co.’s invitation to participate in a review for the Levi’s brand, opting to focus its attention on Nike (see story below). Wieden’s status regarding the Levi’s search was unknown.
Goodby first encroached on Wieden’s Nike relationship eight months ago when it was selected to handle a handful of assignments including apparel, outdoor sports and Niketown, the company’s retail chain. Since then, Nike’s spending on those accounts has risen to about $65 million.
Goodby’s presentation comes with Nike looking to reposition itself globally as sales growth slows in the U.S. and competition intensifies overseas.
Nike is considering axing Wieden’s famous “Just do it” tag, created in the mid-1980s, sources said.