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Nike surprises with $1bn media split

Nike has sprung a surprise by awarding its North America media account to PMG, a Fort Worth-based relative newbie that describes itself as a full service digital agency. Interpublic’s Initiative wins the business outside the US. The whole account is worth around $1 billion, split more or less equally.

US media planning and buying was previously handled by Wieden+Kennedy, Nike’s creative agency since its inception. International business was previously split between Mindshare, Stagwell’s Assembly and Hakuhodo in Japan.

Nike says: “We have concluded our review of agency partners who provide paid media strategy and execution (planning and buying) for brand advertising and performance marketing. This is part of our standard operating procedures to ensure Nike continues to have the best-in-class paid media agency partners around the globe.

“We thank all our agency partners, especially those with whom we have had long-term relationships, for all the work we have delivered together.”

The decision to move media from W+K will cause a tremor or two at its Portland HQ. W+K has been built to a large degree on Nike business and, while keeping media would have been a stretch, it may be disappointed to be displaced by another agency outside the big holding companies, who also competed. The US business is a big feather in the cap for PMG, which has won a number of agency awards recently and is one of the new-style tech-based agencies.

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