Nike Prepares To Score New Top Marketer

Putting the spotlight once again on one of the country’s most closely watched client posts, Nike is expected this week to name a chief marketing officer.
The move could signal another round of agency changes or consolidation on Nike’s estimated $350 million account. Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., has given up some of its turf in the U.S. to insurgent Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.
A leading candidate for the post is Ellen Turner, former chief marketing officer at office-supplies retailer Kinko’s, sources said. Turner could be tapped as early as this week.
A representative for Nike, in Beaverton, Ore., confirmed a search had begun for a top marketing executive but said no selection had been made. The representative would not confirm Turner as a candidate; she could not be reached for comment.
Kinko’s confirmed that Turner had left the company. Executives at Kinko’s agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., said they were unaware of Turner’s future plans. Agency CEO Tom Carroll said, “She understands great brands and will be an asset wherever she goes.” TBWA/C/D is conflicted out of pursuing Nike due to its Levi’s business.
Turner had been with Ventura, Calif.-based Kinko’s since January 1998. Before that, she was vp of marketing at The Limited. She also has held senior marketing posts with The Weather Channel, Atlanta, and Taco Bell, Irvine, Calif.
“She’s all about branding,” said one source who has worked with Turner. As for the ongoing situation between Wieden and Goodby, the source said, “She would figure out what was needed.”
Nike’s marketing team has been in flux since global ad director Geoffrey Frost left the athletic shoe and apparel company for Motorola earlier this year. Rob DeFlorio moved into the job of U.S. ad director after eight years with the company, the last three as European ad director.
–with Michael McCarthy