Bauer Nike Hockey Taps Nine Dots

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Bauer Nike Hockey Inc., a manufacturer of hockey equipment wholly owned by Nike Inc., has named interactive agency Nine Dots, Toronto, to its North American account.


The pitch involved Nine Dots and incumbent Blast Radius, Toronto. Nine Dots is the agency of record for Nike Canada Ltd., a factor that helped to clinch the Bauer Nike business. Billings were not disclosed.


"Nine Dots' primary purpose is to position the Internet as our primary marketing vehicle as well as to augment sell-in and sell-through," said Leigh Horton, communications manager at Bauer Nike, Greenland, NH.


Nine Dots will handle strategy and research, site design, development and integration of Internet marketing initiatives for nikehockey.com, bauer.com and a new undisclosed enthusiast site for Nike's in-line and recreational ice skates. The sites are informational.


An effort will be made to integrate Bauer Nike's online properties with its offline marketing efforts.


"Also, they want to build a database of people they can communicate with," said Kelly Morefield, account director at Nine Dots. "Right now they don't [do that]."


One way to build a database is to ask consumers to sign up for e-mail communications.


"And how we plan to build that database is through customer retention and acquisition programs like viral marketing promotions," said Dawna Henderson, vice president and managing director at Nine Dots.


Under consideration are online promotions and sponsorships that tie in with the Salt Lake City Olympics.


Majority owned by Canada's MDC Corp. Inc., Nine Dots is based in Portland, OR, with offices in San Francisco, Toronto and Irvine, CA. Agencywide billings last year were $12 million.


Clients of Nine Dots' Toronto office include Molson Canada, epost, Acura and Honda Canada as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange.


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