MDC Partners’ 72andSunny has won the global Adidas account, worth at least $1bn worldwide, fee equivalent. If Adidas is in spending mode, which it seems to be having promised to increase its marketing budget to 13 per cent or so of sales.
The business, which moves from Omnicom’s 180LA, will be shared between 72andSunny HQ in Los Angeles and the agency’s main European outpost in Amsterdam. The business seems to have moved without a formal review, which will alarm big agency groups like WPP and Publicis who might have expected a look-in.
The Adidas account is a big, big win for 72andSunny which also recently picked up the main role on the global ad account for Unilever’s Axe, previously with BBH in London. MDC agencies have also won Diageo’s Johnnie Walker from BBH and been appointed to the global account for Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti.
Adidas VP global communications Ryan Morlan says: “The expectation for us is continuous communications. The intent is to go big.”
And Adidas needs to. The company may be second in the global sports market to Nike but challenger brands like Under Armour are on its tail and profits have fallen. Nike has consistently kicked sand in Adidas’s face, hi-jacking expensive Adidas commitments like sponsoring the soccer World Cup.
In the recent past Adidas has used a roster of agencies to produce one-off campaigns, many featuring former English football star David Beckham (left). These have been OK but have not measured up to Nike’s more consistent message barrage via Wieden+Kennedy.
So Adidas needs a good, consistent global ad campaign just as much as MDC needs more global accounts. But MDC, after years of losing money, is finally showing signs that its impressive creative line-up – Anomaly, CP+B, KBS and 72andSunny – can deliver.