M/W and G/J Compete For a New Head Product

By Ellen Rooney Martin

CHICAGO–Head Sports Inc. has chosen Grant/Jacoby here and Martin/Williams Advertising in Minneapolis as finalists for a new product introduction, according to sources.

The company had also selected The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., to be a finalist, but the agency declined, citing a full work load, sources said.

Executives for Head in Boulder, Colo., could not be reached for comment. Executives for Grant/Jacoby and Martin/ Williams declined comment on the product introduction.

The product category was not disclosed, but sources said there were a variety of new introductions the company was contemplating. Head markets tennis, ski and racquetball equipment and footwear.

Grant/Jacoby and Martin/Williams will pitch the business at the end of the month, according to sources. ‘It’s a difficult pitch, given the the timing and scope of what (the client) wants,’ a source said.

The winning agency is expected to present a campaign to Head executives in Europe in early May.

Head, which does not have an agency of record, spent less than $1 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Grant/Jacoby’s sporting goods experience includes a longtime affiliation with Wilson Sporting Goods. That category leader now lists DDB Needham Chicago as its agency of record.

Nontheless, sources close to the situation said Grant/Jacoby has the inside track because of its Wilson experience.

Martin/Williams’ client list includes Grow Biz’s Play It Again Sports, a used- sporting-goods retailer, and The Coleman Co. The agency has created ads for Peak 1, a Coleman division aimed at the outdoor enthusiast, and The North American Recreation division of Coleman.

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