Nicklaus Aims at 2 Area Shops

Partners & Simons here and Leonard/Monahan in Providence, R.I., have emerged as contenders in the review for the ad account of Nicklaus Golf Equipment.
The maker of golf clubs, bags and accessories is looking at agencies across the country for what will be a $5-6 million account in 1998, said Andrew York, director of marketing at the West Palm Beach, Fla., company. The client is currently spending about $2 million on ads, York said.
Nicklaus has been using three agencies on a project basis for creative chores: The Buntin Group in Nashville, Tenn.; Venue in Riviera Beach, Fla.; and Hollywood Cows in Orlando, Fla.
The latter two shops are being considered for the account, along with the two New England agencies; Mad Dogs & Englishmen and Cliff Freeman & Partners, both in New York; GSD&M in Austin, Texas; Ground Zero in Santa Monica, Calif.; and Black Rocket in San Francisco.
York confirmed that those agencies are currently being considered but declined to say if any other shops are in the mix. He did not say why Buntin is not involved in the current search.
The list of contenders will be narrowed soon, and a final decision is expected in late October.
The review was undertaken to consolidate creative chores, but agencies will be allowed to make a bid to handle media duties as well, York said. The client, however, has reserved the option to keep that portion of the business at Media Horizons in New York, he added.
“We haven’t made a decision on that,” York said, referring to the ultimate dispensation of media planning and buying assignments.
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus is a 50 percent owner of Nicklaus Golf Equipment. The company is separate from another Nicklaus concern, Golden Bear, which is not involved in the current review.