Overlooked Graham Is Eventual Winner

DALLAS The New Orleans Hornets have selected Graham Group to handle its creative account, the client confirmed.

The New Orleans office of the Lafayette, La.-based shop contended with Zehnder Communications of New Orleans in the finals for the account after Trumpet of New Orleans and former incumbent Boone/Oakley of Charlotte, N.C., were cut from the review earlier in the process, sources said.

The shop will launch its first campaign next week in markets throughout Louisiana. “In their presentation they captured from their campaign standpoint what we were looking for in terms of the message we hope to portray in this year’s advertising and marketing,” said Alex Martins, the Hornets senior vice president of marketing and branding. “They embraced the concepts we were looking to convey relative to quality of the product, where it fits into the entertainment landscape in New Orleans and ultimately how we hope to motivate fans to buy tickets.”

Graham did not initially receive a request for proposal when the review kicked off last month but asked to be sent a questionnaire and the client obliged.

Independents Peter A. Mayer Advertising, Logan Marketing & Communications and Keating Magee, all of New Orleans, had received proposal requests but declined to participate, sources said.

The National Basketball Association franchise has been handling creative and media duties in-house for the past year; it is expected to continue placing its media.

The creative account, with fees and production, totals only $100,000, sources said.