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Steve Stoute may have come from the music industry, but he understands a core tenet of advertising: It's all about relationships.
So, while Stoute's Translation agency beat R/GA and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners straight up to win a pitch for the NBA's creative account, his ties to the league's new marketing chief, Pam El, got him into the contest in the first place. Both worked together when Els led marketing at State Farm, a Translation client.