Sports Authority Taps Team Detroit

Team Detroit has landed creative and media duties on Sports Authority after a review, the client has confirmed.

The other finalists included Havas’ Arnold in Boston, Omnicom Group’s TracyLocke in Dallas and Interpublic Group’s Deutsch in New York, said sources. Deutsch was the incumbent on media duties; the creative incumbent was independent Post Central in Rochester, N.Y.

Major media spending on the brand totaled $43 million last year and $36 million in the first half of 2010, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

Sports Authority becomes the largest non-Ford client at Team Detroit, a unit of WPP Group in Dearborn, Mich. Other clients include Bell Helicopter, Shell, Compuware and Bosch.

In a statement, Jeff Schumacher, chief marketing officer and chief strategy officer at Sports Authority, said that the winning agency “demonstrated heightened strategic and creative thinking and a deep understanding of our customer in-market and in-store.”

Team Detroit managing director Brad Audet said he was “delighted to partner with Sports Authority to help them become the number-one retailer in sporting goods.”

Sports Authority has some 462 stores in 45 states.