Wieden’s Vieira to Leave Longtime ESPN Post

NEW YORK Angie Vieira, account director for ESPN at Wieden + Kennedy, is leaving the agency, the shop confirmed.

Vieira, 34, is a 10-year veteran of the independent agency and began her career at the shop’s Portland, Ore., headquarters. Wieden won the ESPN account in April 1993 and opened the New York office in 1997 to service the Bristol, Conn.-based client. ESPN is owned by the Walt Disney Co., and also has executive offices in New York.

Buz Sawyer, general manager of Wieden in New York, said Vieira would be “greatly missed, but I respect her desire to stretch her legs at this stage.” Vieira has taken a position as general manager to establish the New York office of Bugaboo USA, an Amsterdam, Netherlands, company that makes baby strollers.

“It’s been an amazing 10 years at Wieden and an amazing five years working with ESPN,” Vieira said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

A timetable for her exit has not yet been determined nor has a successor been decided upon, the agency said.

Vieira moved to the New York office to run the ESPN account five years ago. In December 2002, the shop broke a new brand campaign for the all-sports cable network called, “Without sports.”

ESPN executives could not be immediately reached for comment.

With a media spend of about $40 million in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, ESPN is the largest account at Wieden’s $140 million New York office, which has about 70 staffers. Its other clients include Nike NYC, Jordan, Avon, JetBlue Airways (media), U.S. Trust and Time Warner interactive.

Wieden in New York recently parted ways with Sega’s Visual Concepts, an estimated $10 million account that markets ESPN-branded video games.

Wieden is ESPN’s lead creative and media agency. Ground Zero in Los Angeles and Concept Farm in New York are also on its roster.