Nike Hands Media Responsibilities to PMG, IPG’s Digital Shift Initiative

Diving brief:

  • Nike has selected PMG and Initiative to manage its media operations, the company said in an emailed statement. The brand launched the review process – the largest for its media account in a decade – in December.
  • PMG, an independent boutique based in Fort Worth, Texas, will serve as the go-to integrated media agency for North American activewear marketing and global digital capabilities partner, by an announcement. Nike will leverage the company’s Alli marketing technology platform for media operations.
  • Initiative, an agency of the Interpublic group of companies, supports global integrated media functions following previous work with Converse. Nike is exercising more control over its sales channels and making greater efforts in areas such as data-driven personalization.

Overview of the dive:

Nike’s change in media agency has been closely watched, and not just because the company owns some of the most iconic and valuable consumer brands. The move comes at a transition point for the distributor, with Nike putting more emphasis on its direct-to-consumer (DTC) operations. while reducing relationships with wholesalers.

Nike’s media account is estimated at $1 billion, according to media reports, and many of the major advertising groups were vying for the company. Consulting firm R3 helped oversee the pitch process.

“We have concluded our review of partner agencies that provide paid media strategy and execution (planning and buying) for brand advertising and performance marketing,” Nike said in an emailed statement. “It’s part of our standard operating procedures to ensure that Nike continues to have best-in-class paid media agency partners around the world.”

Mobile properties owned by Nike include the core Nike commerce app, a SNKRS app for sneaker collectors, and the Nike Training Club app for fitness planning. These have been instrumental in supporting digital revenue growth in recent quarters amid the broader consumer transition to e-commerce. Nike has also begun experimenting with more data apps for personalization on the Nike app, with plans to expand these initiatives throughout the year.

“We have begun testing audience segmentation in North America with real-time data and personalized journeys on the Nike app, with plans to expand in the coming months,” said Matt Friend, Chief Financial Officer of Nike. said on a recent analyst call.

Its selection of new media agencies carries a similar focus on technology. PMG operates the Alli martech platform, which offers creative insights informed by artificial intelligence, automated media management and other benefits. Old Navy and Best Western are among marketers who have used the data-driven solution.

Nike’s media functions in North America were previously handled by Wieden + Kennedy. The agency remains the company’s official creative agency. It can also retain part of the brand’s media activity in the region, Ad age reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. WPP’s Mindshare was previously in charge of much of Nike’s global media duties.

Darryl A. Chapin