Nike Selects Crispin Porter For Online Brand Building

Seeking an agency with the right digital chops, Nike has selected Crispin Porter + Bogusky to handle online brand building duties for its U.S. running, Nike ID and Nike Plus businesses.

The news comes a month after Nike revealed its interest in shopping several of its units amid rumors that the shoe giant's long-time agency, Wieden + Kennedy, wasn't cutting it online.

Dean Stoyer, Nike's U.S. director of media relations, said those rumors are completely false, as Wieden will continue to handle the vast majority of Nike's ad work, both on- and offline.

"We're excited to start working with Crispin in these areas, but our relationships with Wieden and R/GA are as strong as ever," said Stoyer. Miami-based agency Crispin has made a name for itself in recent years with original work for Mini Cooper and Burger King.

R/GA, New York, which was responsible for Nike's Nike ID Web site, will continue to maintain that site along with the Nike Plus site, according to Stoyer.

"Crispin will specialize in brand communication, creating online excitement online and driving traffic to those sites," he explained. "R/GA is not losing any of their existing responsibilities."

Nike's ad business is estimated to be worth over $220 million in billings each year, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Neither Nike or Crispin would say how much of that is devoted to the running, Nike ID and Nike Plus businesses.

Nike ID is the company's personalized product business. Nike Plus is a joint venture with Apple Inc., which gives runners the ability to record workouts on their Apple iPod Nano using a chip in their Nike running shoes. Users can then instantly upload and view their workouts on an illustrated graph online.

Notably, Nike has a history of moving its accounts around to different agencies, before eventually bringing them back to Wieden.

The agency world overall is struggling to meet client demands for innovative and engaging digital work. For that reason, Wieden late last year brought on Renny Gleeson as its global director of digital strategies. Gleeson came over from Carat Fusion in New York where he served as senior vice president, managing director.

Crispin declined to comment on the Nike win, or how it plans to differentiate the brand online in the future.

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