NFL Looking For New Ad Agency Partner; Could Remain With Grey
The NFL is "in the market" for a new ad agency partner, as the league has issued "both an RFI and an RFP regarding its overall marketing business," according to sources cited by Patrick Coffee of ADWEEK. Sources said that the NFL "reached out to an original group consisting of 12 agencies," which has since been "cut to seven as part of a larger review" managed by consultancy Roth Ryan Hayes. The agency group reportedly included current league partner Grey, as well as "competitors such as Wieden + Kennedy, 72andSunny and Droga5." Sources said that Droga5 "declined to participate due to a conflict" with their client ESPN, while the other three agencies "remain in the competition." The review's other participants are "unclear at this time." A source said that NFL CMO Tim Ellis "launched the exploratory phase of the review almost immediately" after beginning his new role in September. Another source said that the RFP "concerns marketing both the NFL brand and NFL Media," including NFL Network, NFL.com, NFL Films, NFL Mobile, NFL Now and NFL RedZone. Grey "won all branding duties" for the NFL, including media and apparel, in '09, "beating out incumbent BBDO as well as Ogilvy and TBWA/Chiat/Day" (ADWEEK.com, 10/15).