Movie Outfit Auditions Agencies

First Project Will Be to Support IMAX-Style Michael Jordan Film
CHICAGO–Film company Giant Screen Sports is contacting Chicago agencies for a $9 million assignment behind a large-screen-format movie starring Michael Jordan–a project that could lead to a permanent relationship.
Mary Kaye Kennedy, director of marketing for the film producer and distributor, said the company seeks a shop to create advertising for Michael Jordan to the Max, a film shot in an IMAX-style large screen format. The film, due to premiere in May, follows the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-98 season–the team’s final NBA championship run–with a focus on Jordan, its superstar.
Shops simply wishing to meet His Airness need not apply. “We recognize the Michael Jordan film is something very appealing to Chicago agencies, but we don’t want it to be a one-product relationship,” Kennedy said. “We would like to have an agency relationship that is a long-term one.”
The company has a second project in the works, a large-format film about soccer that is due out late next year. The chosen agency will likely develop promotions for that movie, too, Kennedy said.
Giant Screen Sports, founded in Chicago in 1997 and now based in Evanston, Ill., has worked with freelancers on trade advertising, but this is its first agency review, Kennedy said. “We’re looking at hiring an agency very quickly,” she said. “We’re on a tight timeline.”
The selected agency will be responsible for a fully integrated consumer campaign for use internationally by theater managers. The shop will also handle business-to-business work behind efforts to build a distribution network for the film. There are more than 200 IMAX and other large-format theaters worldwide, with another 100 expected to be operational within 18 months.
Kennedy declined to give a specific budget for the Jordan film, but said it will be comparable to what was spent behind the 1998 IMAX film Everest, which sources pegged at $9 million. The budget is supplemented by corporate sponsors, which currently include the NBA. The agency will also work on sponsorships and other promotional partnerships.
MacGillivray Freeman Films, Everest’s producer and distributor, backed that documentary’s integrated advertising campaign along with sponsor apparel retailer Polartec.