Dick's Chooses Anomaly as Agency

Selection Marks New Approach for Sporting-Goods Retailer

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After a competitive review, Dick's Sporting Goods has selected Anomaly as its new agency, the retailer confirmed.

It's the first retained-agency relationship for Dick's and a marked shift from its strategy of relying on an in-house creative team and various production companies. The move to a more formal agency relationship follows the appointment of Lauren Hobart, a 14-year veteran of PepsiCo, to the top marketing job a year ago.

"As we continue to grow the number of Dick's Sporting Goods stores and become a truly national retailer, we have identified an agency partner that we think will help bring us to that next level," Ms. Hobart told Ad Age . "We'll have in excess of 500 stores [this year], so we felt like it was the right time in the company's path to identify new resources."

Ms. Hobart, named an Ad Age Woman to Watch in 2010, has plans to shake things up. While she would not disclose exact plans for the sporting-goods retailer, she said Anomaly is working on a brand campaign to launch this spring.

"We have had in the past a mix of co-op advertising, as well as some brand-specific spots," Ms. Hobart said. "This will be the first time we've launched an overarching brand campaign that should impact the entire year."

Ms. Hobart also declined to comment on how the relationship would affect budgets or media plans. Dick's has been increasing its advertising outlays as a percentage of net sales as it looks to gain market share, according to its annual report. The company spends about $60 million annually on measured media, according to Kantar Media.

The review took place over the last two months, Ms. Hobart said.

"We saw work from various agencies, and in the end, Anomaly really impressed us with their work, strategically and creatively," Ms. Hobart said. "We had a shared understanding of what the vision is for the brand, and they were able to bring it to life in a way that really impressed and excited us."

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