The NBA Changes Media Agencies as Spending Grows

SMG Takes Over From Media Storm

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NBA CMO Pam El
NBA CMO Pam El
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The National Basketball Association has shifted media planning and buying duties to Starcom Mediavest Group.

Media had recently been handled by Media Storm, which is part of the Water Cooler Group network that is co-led by former Mindshare exec Antony Young. The agency shift, which was confirmed by a league spokesman, comes as the NBA spends more aggressively under Chief Marketing Officer Pam El, who took the marketing helm late last year.

The NBA spent $135.8 million on measured media last year, up from $93.6 million in 2013, according to Kantar Media. "We are going to be much more aggressive with our marketing. We want to go after a larger fan base," Ms. El said in an interview late last year.

SMG referred a request for comment to the NBA. Media Storm was only contracted to work with the NBA for the 2014/15 season, according to a Media Storm spokesman. SMG is expected to handle the account via its sports marketing practice, which is called "Sports at SMG."

The NBA's lead creative agency is Translation, which won the account in December, replacing Omnicom's Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which had been the NBA's agency of record since 2007.

This story has been updated to include a statement from Media Storm.

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