Pyro Takes It One Game At A Time

Socko TV For Radica Usa’s Nascar Racer Could Lead To More Work
DALLAS–Pyro here has reeled in project work for Radica USA and a shot at handling the firm’s $10 million advertising account.
The developer of handheld electronic games has assigned television creative duties for a new Nascar-licensed product to Pyro after screening an undisclosed field of Dallas-area shops.
Harold Stone, Radica’s director of marketing, said the move was prompted by his desire to find an agency closer to the 14-year-old company’s Dallas operations.
Stone would not identify the other shops that were considered. He said he was impressed by Pyro’s experience marketing video games as well as its ads for clients such as Air Ware’s Dr. Martens footwear.
“[Radica USA] is just a sleepy little company that’s dominating the market,” said Pyro principal John Beitter. “This is a great opportunity for us.”
Radica’s most recent television work was developed by Livingston 5, Los Angeles. Its media buys, which include network TV, are handled by Time and Space, also in Los Angeles.
Stone said those shops have been informed that their portions of the business could be moved to Pyro if the agency’s work on a new version of the Nascar Racer game is successful. Stone also said he has not ruled out the possibility of maintaining multi-agency relationships.
Pyro’s TV creative assignments were doled out after the shop succesfully created a video promoting Radica’s 1999 game line to toy buyers.
Radica expanded from its initial gambling-themed handheld line in 1995. One of its most popular products is the three-year-old Bass Fishin’ game. According to Stone, that model has sold five million units through retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Toys ‘R Us.
Stone said Radica is projecting fiscal 1998 sales at more than $120 million, up from $79 million in 1997. He said the firm plans to spend $10 million on U.S. advertising in 1999. Radica’s current TV campaign for its fishing and Trail Burner mountain bike racing games is backed by $5.5 million, Stone said.