Golf is more than just a pastime for Adidas Golf. It is a sport with real athletes, and the brand has tapped a new creative agency to help retool its work and tell that story.
San Francisco-based Venables Bell & Partners will take the reins from Kastner & Partners, which has worked on the brand for over three years.
"We are shifting to be more aligned with the Adidas brand and the idea that golf is a sport, and golfers are athletes," said Melissa Ziegler, global brand marketing director for Adidas Golf. "So, we wanted to find a new agency partner that could really help us bring that to life."
The company, which spent nearly $45 million in media last year, according to Kantar Media, did not use a consultant for the search. Ten agencies were vying for the brand's business, and incumbent Kastner & Partners was among the six finalists. Carat in Los Angeles runs the brand's strategy and media-buying business.
"We had never really taken the perspective of golf as a pastime," said Ziegler. "And when I look around, every other golf company has caught up to this idea of golf as a sport. You've seen Nike do it, you've seen Under Armour get really aggressively into the space, even more traditional golf brands, like a FootJoy, are starting to make products that are more athletically inclined."
Ziegler explained that as the larger Adidas brand has shifted its marketing back to being sports and performance-oriented, she wanted to "make sure that our golf work was aligning with those principles, moving forward."
Venables Bell & Partners' work with Reebok and Audi helped demonstrate to Adidas Golf that the shop could position its brand as a challenger and, eventually, a leader in the space.
Will McGinness, partner and ecd of Venables Bell & Partners said, "Golf and Adidas together—we couldn't be more excited. We're looking forward to celebrating the Adidas love of sport within the world of golf."
This article orginally appeared in AdWeek.