Longtime Millsport exec Basche leaving
Bob Basche, The Marketing Arm’s chief relationship officer and chairman of Millsport, is leaving after a combined 30 years with the two agencies.
“I’m certainly not retiring,” Basche said. “It is more of a fresh start and using the relationships I have with brands like NASDAQ and Izod to do new things.”
Basche joined Millsport in 1982 from NBC Sports, where he coined the term “Breakfast at Wimbledon” and won three Emmy Awards. An internal email from Marketing Arm parent Omnicom noted his achievements in fashioning Frito-Lay’s title sponsorship of the Fiesta Bowl in 1995 for its Tostitos brand, as well as in founding The Marketing Arm’s motorsports practice and the agency’s Charlotte office.
“Bob’s loyalty, energy, and cheerful attitude have made him a valuable part of TMA’s team for the last seven years,” according to the internal email.
Other highlights noted by Basche included helping Visa wrest Olympic rights from American Express in 1988, forging a decade-long relationship between GTE and the NFL, which included the use of branded headsets on sidelines by NFL coaches for the first time, and signing Jeff Gordon for Pepsi when the popular NASCAR driver had been sponsored by Coke.
Basche’s departure could signal the end of the Millsport name. Millsport has been part of The Marketing Arm since 2004, but the latter has recently been de-emphasizing the use of the Millsport name, the agency that was founded by Jim Millman in 1975 and majority owned by Omnicom since 2000.