Swish: SMG Scores NBA Media Assignment

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has named Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) as its media-buying and planning agency, the sports league confirmed Wednesday. Previously, the league worked with Media Storm. 

The NBA's ad budget was $135.8 million in 2014, up from $93.6 million in 2013, according to Kantar Media.  

SMG will work with Translation, which won the league’s creative agency account in December.  

Although the league declines to discuss the reasons behind these agency changes, it appears previous relationships helped to drive the decisions. 

The NBA named Pam El as Chief Marketing Officer late last year. Soon thereafter, the NBA called for an agency review and Translation beat out incumbent Goodby Silverstein & Partners, part of Omnicom, which had held the account since 2007. 

Translation's founder Steve Stoute worked with El when she worked at State Farm before taking on the NBA role. 

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified SMG as the media agency for State Farm. OMD is State Farm's media shop.



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