McCann-Erickson Bats for Oakland A's

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The Oakland Athletics named McCann-Erickson San Francisco as its integrated advertising agency.

McCann won the account uncontested after the Major League Baseball team ousted incumbent Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. It previously had participated in a review last year that went in favor of Goodby. Billings were not disclosed.

"It's stadium attendance and competitive positioning," Courtney Buechert, executive vice president and general manager of McCann-Erickson San Francisco, said of the client mandate.

Indeed, the market not only has the San Francisco Giants baseball team but two football teams vying for the attention of sports fans.

"So there's a positioning requirement of having people understand why go to an A's game versus a Giants game," Buechert said.

McCann will develop brand and media strategy, plus creative for brand advertising supported by direct mail, online marketing, promotions, stadium design, billboards and corporate sales. It will move the team from a traditional advertising program into a fully integrated one.

"One of the points that the client has made is that it has evolved dramatically over the last decade," Buechert said. "More than half of the tickets are sold online [for mail delivery]. So the way you transact has dramatically changed from stadium to mail."

Current technology used by the A's does not let fans buy online and print tickets at home.

McCann's recommendation for media covers print, television, radio, outdoors, mail and the Internet, including e-mail. The campaign begins in March, coinciding with the start of spring training. The plan is to have early efforts to sell season tickets and packages.

"There's a great opportunity to leverage more than 80,000 fans in their database ... and to develop a robust relationship with their fans," Buechert said. "Online and direct is pretty significant. They have a great opportunity to have a transactional relationship instead of an informational one."


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