The Sega-owned firm is expecting detailed creative presentations from the agencies for its account – worth just £60,000 over six months -– before asking three contenders to pitch for a second time.
Well-placed sources confirmed that preparation for a full-blown pitch of this kind could cost in the region of £10,000 in terms of the man hours and other costs involved.
Another called the size of the pitch ‘extraordinary’. Agencies are interested in the business because of the high profile of the account, although the budget is modest. ‘I would question the scale of the process and the client is creating so much detail for itself it will find it hard to make a decision,’ a source said.
The brief, issued by Sports Interactive head of PR Ciaran Brennan, centres on sport and consumer lifestyle media.
The aim is to inform the game’s existing customer base of the new edition’s features ahead of its expected October launch date, while also luring older, lapsedplayers back to the Football Manager brand.
The winning agency will work alongside both Sega and Sports Interactive’s existing press office functions.
Brennan defended the scale of the pitch. ‘Our product sits in the games, sports and consumer sectors,’ he said. ‘There is no way that we could find one agency that specialises across all those areas, so we have gone to a wide range of agencies to see which fits best.’
He added this was the biggest pitch list the brand had put together for the annual Football Manager activity and confirmed that at least one agency had already pulled out of the process.