BUTLER SHINE WINS CONVERSE AD ACCOUNT

Nike-Backed Sneaker Maker to Spend $5-$10 Million

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Sneaker maker Converse, now with the added backing of Nike, is moving to capitalize on its recent popularity with rock stars and other trendsetters. The marketer has awarded its estimated $5 million to $10 million account to Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, executives familiar with the situation said.

The Sausalito, Calif.-based independent agency won the account following a review, which included MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners, New York, and independent Mother, also in New York.

Nike bought Converse in September 2003 as a "flanker" brand, that is, one that would offer an alternative to Nike. The acquisition has given Converse an extended presence in mass merchandise retail outlets. "Their goal is to gain momentum in the fashion and performance segment," said Greg Stern, chief executive officer of Butler Shine.

Converse spent $5.4 million in measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Marketing expenditures are expected to rise, given Converse's development of new products meant to capitalize on its heritage in the performance basketball segment.

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