Bell Pottinger to put Nike back on its feet

Nike has appointed Bell Pottinger Consultants and Bell Pottinger Public Affairs to work on its corporate PR.

Nike has appointed Bell Pottinger Consultants and Bell Pottinger

Public Affairs to work on its corporate PR.



Work will be on a rolling contract and follows project work the agencies

conducted for the sports giant last year.



Bell Pottinger’s brief is believed to include image-building activities

targeting the women’s retail sector. The agency is also believed to be

supporting Nike’s involvement in the Government’s school sports policy

agenda, which includes promoting physical education in the national

curriculum and establishing a national sports academy.



Sir Tim Bell, chairman of Chime Communications, the holding company for

the Bell Pottinger agencies, confirmed the appointment but declined to

comment further.



In February, Nike issued a profits warning for the third quarter of

1998.



This was followed a month later by a 69 per cent decline in profits

compared to the same quarter in 1997 and an announcement that the

company would lay off 1,600 workers - some seven per cent of its

workforce - and take a restructuring charge of pounds 104 million,

including costs associated with laying off workers.



The company, which signed a sponsorship deal with the Brazilian national

football team last year, cited difficulties in the Asia-Pacific market

and a strong US dollar as the two main reasons for its fall in

profit.



In addition, analysts point to a change in fashion trends, especially in

footwear, with a move away from branded sportswear in favour of

leisurewear companies such as Ben Sherman, Timberland and

Caterpillar.



- Bell Pottinger Consultants and Bell Pottinger Financial have been

appointed by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) on a project basis to

handle the potential sale of the RAC’s motoring services division, which

includes its breakdown service. The RAC announced plans to demerge the

motoring services division from the gentleman’s club, a mutual

association which owns the division, over two weeks ago.



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