U.S. Olympic Committee Retains GSD&M

DALLAS The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has hired Omnicom’s GSD&M to create a branding platform that will promote the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, the shop said.

The Austin, Texas-based agency has been charged with developing creative strategy and brand communications, including print and television public service campaigns. There was no review.

Client director of public relations Cheryl Herbert said the current incumbent, Omnicom’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, was approached about continuing to work with the USOC but declined. “They made a decision it was something they didn’t want to work on,” she said.

She added, “GSD&M was willing to work with us in a pro-bono capabilicty to help us get the creative we want and still deliver quality work. They were a better fit creatively and for practical reasons.”

The USOC has worked with GSD&M before. In 1999 the agency became the first to handle branding work for the client, but a year later duties shifted to Goodby.

GSD&M spokesperson Eric Webber said the new campaign, which does not yet have a break date, would promote what the U.S. Olympic team is about “instead of talking about what the team and the committee do.”

Goodby’s most recent work was a multimillion-dollar ad campaign for a licensed products catalog. Breaking last October, the campaign’s goal was to expand the brand identity developed prior to the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The new ads continued the theme, “It’s not every four years. It’s every day.”

The ads featured athletes such as cyclist Giddeon Massie and weightlifter Tara Lee Nott clad in USOC-licensed apparel, along with the “every day” tag. Copy read: “Clothes for people who train 6 hours a day. And for people who watch people train 6 hours a day.”

TNS Media Intelligence/CMR reports the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based client spent less than $2 million over the last three years. Herbert said moving forward, the USOC will have only in-kind ad buys, the value of which will be “in the low seven figures.”