NFL Taps Grey for Branding Blitz

The National Football League said it has selected WPP Group’s Grey here for branding efforts following a review.

According to the shop, it has been chosen to create a comprehensive new branding initiative, unifying all of its marketing efforts behind key business units.

The NFL’s domestic measured media outlay was $158 million in 2008 and $40 million through the first third of this year, per Nielsen. A significant portion of the league’s promotional efforts run during its game telecasts.

Mark Waller, the NFL’s svp marketing and sales, said in a statement: “We have wanted to create a single brand campaign throughout the league for years, but we’ve never seen an idea from an agency that addressed all of our varied business issues with equal effectiveness. Grey presented us with creative that promises to pay tribute to our sport and fans and resonate across media channels to further drive consumption of each of our properties.”

Grey’s first work for the NFL is slated to break in July in the run-up to the league’s season kickoff.

Tor Myhren, CCO of Grey N.Y., said of the upcoming campaign: “In every game, monumental things happen in a fraction of a second, but then are re-lived over a lifetime. Our work is a celebration of those moments and the players, teams and fans that create them.”

Added Grey CEO Jim Heekin: “We look forward to helping them leverage the strength of what is one of the most iconic American brands.”

Omnicom Group’s BBDO has been the NFL’s principal creative partner, though its contract expired in March. An agency representative declined comment and referred additional questions to league reps, who could not immediately be reached.

This marks the third and by far the highest-profile new-business score for Grey in recent weeks. The shop scored T.J. Maxx’s $35 million broadcast creative assignment and Reliant Energy’s $25 million business following separate reviews earlier this month.

Nielsen Business Media