The world’s fourth-largest athletic shoe company, New Balance
Athletic Shoe Inc, has appointed Biss Lancaster to handle its UK PR. The
brief covers both consumer and trade PR as well as corporate.
The search for a new PR company began last October, but there was no
formal pitch process. New Balance uses Euro RSCG Worldwide, Biss
Lancaster’s parent company, as its advertising agency. Previously, New
Balance used Hothouse for UK PR.
The account will be lead by director Fiona Noble. She reports to Martin
Jouanneau, European PR manager for New Balance.
Rather than focusing on celebrity endorsement, New Balance’s marketing
emphasises performance and innovation, targeting serious runners,
although it has experienced growth in sales from those buying the shoes
as fashion items. ’The product is king,’ said Jouanneau. ’Although we
are now selling beyond the core target of serious runners, we are
careful to be faithful to sports.’
New Balance had sales of nearly pounds 400 million in 1998. Its
headquarters are in Boston, and it sells its products in 63 countries.