W+K, 72andSunny, GSP Battle For NFL Business

The National Football League (NFL) is conducting a creative agency review, a pitch that coincides with the league's appointment of Tim Ellis as chief marketing officer. He left Activision Blizzard to take on the new role.

The contenders reportedly include incumbent Grey as well as rivals such as Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GSP), Wieden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, according to Adweek, which had the news of the review first.

Grey declined to comment. Neither the NFL nor the other agencies have responded to queries.  

The remit reportedly covers marketing for both the NFL brand and NFL Media, the league-owned entity that includes NFLNetwork, NFL.com, NFLFilms, NFL Mobile, NFL Now and NFLRedZone. The league spent $68 million promoting its various entities last year, according to Kantar Media. 



Many of the competing agencies have ties to the NFL or Ellis's former home at the video-game developer. GSP, for instance, created the campaign supporting the 2018 football season with work for three distinct NFL properties: Thursday Night Football, NFL GameDay Morning, and NFL.com Fantasy Football. W+K recently made a splash with its Nike spots featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and 72andSunny has developed videogame title spots for Activision Blizzard, including Skylanders. 

Grey has developed an array of viral campaigns since the WPP-owned agency landed branding duties back in 2009.

This past year's Super Bowl spot featuring New York Giants Odell Beckham and Eli Manning attempting to recreate the dance move in "Dirty Dancing" topped many surveys of popular game-related ads. Three years ago, Grey and the NFL introduced a more serious public service ad that aired during the Super Bowl to address domestic violence in light of the widely-reported incident involving Baltimore Ravens' player Ray Rice assaulting his partner in an elevator.


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