PMG, Initiative grab Nike’s $1bn global media account

As part of its standard operating procedures to ensure it continues to have the best-in-class paid media agency partners around the globe, Nike has announced the winners of its global media account.  The account, which is estimated to be worth $1 billion covers the Nike and Jordan brands in all major markets, and is being split between independent agency PMG and Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Initiative.

PMG will handle North American media duties as well as global digital capabilities, while Initiative will handle integrated media globally

In a statement, Nike said: “We have concluded our review of agency partners who provide paid media strategy and execution (planning and buying) for brand advertising and performance marketing.

“This is part of our standard operating procedures to ensure Nike continues to have the best-in-class paid media agency partners around the globe. We thank all our agency partners, especially those with whom we have had long-term relationships, for all the work we have delivered together.”

The iconic footwear brand confirmed PMG will be its integrated media agency in North America as well as become its global digital capabilities partner. Initiative will handle integrated media globally, including in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific, and the Latin America regions.

Wieden+Kennedy, which remains Nike’s creative agency of record, previously handled media planning in North America. Nike also worked with other shops such as Within, which previously handled some performance media duties for the brand. Wieden may retain some business in North America, according to multiple people close to the situation, but Nike did not confirm that report.

Wieden+Kennedy, Initiative, and PMG all referred calls for comment to Nike. R3, the consultant that ran the pitch, declined to comment.

The move represents a loss for WPP’s Mindshare which handled a bulk of Nike’s business outside the U.S. as well as Stagwell-owned Assembly, which also handled performance media for the brand in Europe and Asia.

GroupM, Dentsu, Omnicom, Stagwell, Havas, Media.Monks and Within all participated in the Nike media review, which began in December, according to multiple people close to the situation.

While Initiative will be charged with global campaigns in Asia, there are still parts of the business that are up for review in the region, according to multiple people close to the situation. WPP, Publicis, and Dentsu are believed to be pitching for business in the Greater China region which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan. Dentsu, WPP, and Publicis declined to comment.

This is a significant win for Fort Worth, Texas-based PMG, which has clients such as Best Western, Kohler, Gap, and Apple. This move also further consolidates more of Nike’s business under Initiative, which won Converse’s global media account in 2018.

Nike reported worldwide spending of $3.1 billion on advertising and promotion, also known as “demand creation expense,” in the fiscal year ended May 2021, according to the Ad Age Datacenter. “Demand creation expense” consists of advertising and promotion costs, including costs of endorsement contracts, complementary products, TV, digital and print advertising and media costs, brand events and retail brand presentation.


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