Samsonite Books Connelly for Domestic Return

Samsonite has hired Boston-based independent agency Connelly Partners to fashion its return to the U.S. market.

The luggage and travel accessories brand, a player overseas but dormant of late domestically, selected the shop following a review.

A new brand positioning, marketing campaign and Web site are on tap for the Mansfield, Mass.-based client, which today celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Connelly has been given “a blank creative slate” to develop a branding platform and advertising for the client, said shop president and creative chief Steve Connelly. Samsonite provides the agency with a potentially high-profile consumer showcase for its work. The agency’s efforts for Samsonite will break in late spring.

Samsonite spent $5 million on ads in both 2007 and ’08 when the account was handled by Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, per Nielsen. There was no measurable domestic ad spending to bolster the brand last year, and the media budget moving forward was not disclosed.

The agency has also handled recent assignments for Ocean Spray, Staples and Liberty Mutual.