Reebok taps PHD for media biz

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Reebok has named Omnicom Group's PHD agency of record for media buying in the U.S. Grey Global Group's MediaCom previously handled the business. The shift was confirmed by Mickey Pant, Reebok's chief marketing officer. "We have moved all the media buying in the U.S. to PHD," Mr. Pant said.

The Arnell Group, a sibling Omnicom shop that handles Reebok's creative assignments, pitched the media business with PHD. Arnell will handle media planning. The athletic-shoe marketer spent $66.6 million in measured media last year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

In addition, Arnell Group, which won Reebok's consolidated creative business in March, also has picked up all of the marketer's international creative assignments. According to Mr. Pant, who confirmed the international win, Reebok spends about $250 million on global advertising annually.

Media buying for the international work is handled by various shops including PHD and WPP Group's Mediaedge:CIA. At the end of the year when media contracts expire, Reebok expects to launch a review that will consolidate international business at one shop.

Reebok trails Nike in U.S. sneaker sales. Reebok had 11.9% of the nearly $8 billion U.S. athletic-footwear market at the end of 2000, while Nike had 42.6% and Adidas 11.3%, according to market researcher Sporting Goods Intelligence.

Arnell Group recently broke an integrated campaign that reintroduced some of Reebok's brands as RBK. The acronym is the moniker of a street inspired young men's collection, and will roll out to other brands.

Rebook recently broke the "Sounds & Rhythm of Sport" push, associating itself with a hip-hop, urban basketball scene, with endorsements from National Basketball Association star Alan Iverson, players from Harlem's Ruckers Park team, and musicians such as Jadakiss and R. Kelly.

The campaign was created in partnership with PASS, an urban marketing shop principally owned by Steve Stoute, head of black music at Universal Music Group's Interscope Records and by Mr. Arnell.

Fast Facts

U.S. athletic-footwear sales: $8 billion*

Nike's share: 42.6%

Reebok's share: 11.9%

Adidas' share: 11.3%

*Sporting Goods Intelligence, 2000 figures

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