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