NFL, Grey Team To Tackle Ad Challenges

June 18, 2009: The National Football League said that it has signed Grey, New York, as its lead agency of record "to create a comprehensive new branding initiative" and to consolidate all league marketing efforts "in a single brand campaign that will further drive growth and enhance the brand value of the NFL and its various business units," including media, consumer products, and e-commerce efforts. The NFL's spend was nearly $160 million in 2008, per TNS Media Intelligence, New York. Grey, whose first work for the NFL is expected to coincided with the preseason in August, follows BBDO, New York, which parted company with the NFL in May after three years. BBDO was originally brought in by Lisa Baird, former NFL svp-consumer products and marketing, who in January became CMO for the U.S. Olympic Committee. Prior to that, the NFL's AOR was Young & Rubicam, New York, which signed on with the NFL in 2001.

"We have wanted to create a single brand campaign throughout the league for years, but we've never seen an idea from an agency that addressed all of our varied business issues with equal effectiveness," Mark Waller, the NFL's svp-marketing and sales, said, said in a statement. "Grey presented us with creative that promises to pay tribute to our sport and fans and resonate across media channels to further drive consumption of each of our properties." Added Dena Kaplan, svp-marketing for the NFL Network, said, "We are excited to launch for the first time an integrated, dynamic, groundbreaking campaign approach that promises to build fan affinity and consumption across all of the NFL business units."

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