Umbro Goes Into Play

By Joan Voight and David Gianatasio

SAN FRANCISCO–Greenville, S.C.-based Umbro International, a soccer apparel maker, has begun a national review for its estimated $5-6 million U.S. advertising account.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco previously handled the business but resigned the account due to conflicts with its new client, Nike. Umbro is compiling a list of semifinalists this week, said sources.

Holland Mark Martin in Boston is pursuing the account along with other undisclosed contenders.

The client, known for making bold creative statements, has begun ‘a search for a new agency’ to succeed Goodby, Silverstein, said David Jones, Umbro director of marketing.

Goodby, Silverstein, which landed the Umbro business about a year ago without a review, resigned the account last month when it picked up national ad duties for Nike’s Nike Town retail outlets, Nike apparel, women’s sports and select brands.

The company has held conversations with several agencies and is close to formulating a short list of contenders that Umbro executives will visit, sources said.

Umbro is expected to inform shops of their status this week, according to sources, according to sources.

Holland Mark Martin chief executive Bill Davis has held conversations with executives at Umbro but was not informed of his shop’s status at press time, he said.

Within the last year, Goodby, Silverstein crafted gritty black and white TV and print ads focusing on amateur players. The ads stressed that soccer still belongs to everyday people and contrasted it to highly commercialized mainstream sports.

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