Nike’s Allen Returns to Southern California
LOS ANGELES–TBWA/Chiat/Day has tapped a Nike executive with Southern California roots to head up its Nissan account.
Michael Allen joins the Playa del Rey, Calif., agency as group account director. He comes from Nike Canada, Thornhill, Ontario, where he was marketing director. He replaces Robert LePlae, who earlier was transferred to Japan to head a joint TBWA/Hakuhodo operation servicing Nissan there [Adweek, Dec. 6].
Allen, 35, was recommended by LePlae. The two worked together at Rubin Postaer and Associates in the early 1990s.
“Mike is a really talented guy and has a lot of worldwide branding experience,” said Tom Carroll, president/CEO at TBWA/C/D.
It’s not TBWA/C/D’s first Nike-related recruitment. In October, the shop hired Chuck McBride, a co-creative chief on Nike at Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., to be executive creative director in San Francisco.
Some observers have speculated TBWA/C/D is interested in making inroads on the Nike account. Its Levi’s jeans business, though, would pose a conflict.
A San Diego native, Allen began his career at BBDO, Los Angeles. He joined Nike in 1993 as ad manager for various sport categories. He had been at Nike Canada since 1998.