Modell’s Picks Berlin Cameron

NEW YORK Berlin Cameron United has landed creative duties on Modell’s after a review, the agency said.

Since its inception, the 120-year-old sporting goods chain has handled its advertising internally. The appointment, coming after March’s hire of independent Horizon Media here for media planning and buying duties, thus represents a coming out of sorts for the New York-based private company.

Billings were not disclosed. WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron topped a handful of other undisclosed shops to land the business.

Previous major media spending has been relatively modest. Last year, Modell’s spent more than $5 million in major media — up from almost $3 million in both 2007 and 2006, according to the Nielsen Co. Those figures do not include spending on online ads or sales circulars, which are a staple of Modell’s marketing efforts.

Modell’s, which operates more than 140 stores and has plans to open more this year, competes head-to-head with Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Footlocker and more broadly with mega-retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target.

Modell’s footprint is predominantly in the Northeast, including states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In addition to sporting goods, the retailer sells sports apparel and sneakers.

Berlin Cameron’s first work for the new client — most likely a mixture of TV, print, outdoor and digital ads — is expected in the summer, according to Carla Serrano, the agency’s president.

Berlin Cameron’s other clients include Comcast, Ford and LVMH (Belvedere and Hennessy).