Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12297: Translation Wins NBA Shootout.

Advertising Age reported the NBA alley-ooped its account to Translation, and the beleaguered shop slam-dunked over 20-year incumbent Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Did NBA CMO Pam El take Jeff Goodby’s sage advice when making her decision? Probably not. To his credit, Translation Founder Steve Stoute has shown strength in his ability to create and capitalize on relationships. He apparently used such skills to once woo Anheuser-Busch InBev U.S. Marketing VP Paul Chibe and win beer business. Stoute’s ties to El when she worked at State Farm—as well as his connections to the New Jersey Nets—were clearly enough to outplay GS&P and R/GA in the shootout.

Goodby certainly can’t cry foul, as he’s benefitted from relationships to originally nab Chevy; plus, he’s picked up lots of business for being an indentured servant in Omnicom. And if Goodby’s still asking, “Where are all the Black people?” well, one of them just beat his ass in hoops.

NBA Taps Translation After Review

Incumbent Goodby Had Been Working With NBA for 20-plus Years

By Maureen Morrison

The National Basketball Association has tapped Translation to handle creative after a review.

A spokeswoman for the league confirmed the win, calling the shop the “primary agency” for creative. The scope of the work, however, is yet to be determined, the spokeswoman said.

The account had been at Omnicom’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the NBA’s agency of record since 2007, though the shop has worked with the association for more than 20 years. The review process was overseen by Hasan & Co.

Goodby declined to comment. Translation couldn’t be immediately reached.

It’s not immediately clear whether the review will result in another agency of record relationship or whether the association will move to soliciting work on a project basis from the winning shop.

The review began less than three months after Pam El was named the NBA’s new chief marketing officer. Previously she had been at State Farm for 11 years, most recently as exec VP-marketing. Ms. El is familiar with Translation through State Farm; the shop handles some advertising for the marketer.

Goodby’s last campaign for the NBA was the work themed “Everybody Up,” which began in the current season. Ms. El said in October that the league will be more aggressive in its marketing moving forward, an effort to lure more casual fans.

In 2013, the NBA spent $93.6 million on measured media, a figure that includes ads promoting the NBA TV cable channel, as well as plugging the WNBA, according to Kantar Media.

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