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Posts Tagged ‘Todd Smith’

Sonic Signs Kevin Durant in Brand’s First Sports Endorsement Deal

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Sonic has signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, the brand’s first sports endorsement deal, Adweek reports.

As part of the deal, Durant will star alongside Sonic’s “Two Guys” in a national broadcast campaign expected this summer. The “Two Guys” in question, New York-based former The Colbert Report writer Peter Grosz and Chicago-based improv comedian T.J. Jagodowski, have been a staple of the brand’s advertising since being brought back by GSP+P in early 2012, two years after being phased out after their initial run with Kansas City-based agency Barkley. Durant will also be involved with Sonic educational charity Limeades for Learning and will help brainstorm new menu items.

Durant achieved instant-celebrity with his emotional acceptance speech for the NBA MVP award, which, coupled with his connection to Sonic’s hometown of Oklahoma City, attracted the attention of CMO Todd Smith. “What really happened was the MVP speech that he made last year really pushed him into a national presence more, but also, his likability is off the charts,” Smith told Adweek. “For us, we wanted someone who has a hometown feel with a national presence because that’s the type of brand we are.”

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Sonic Taps KC Shop for Below-the-Line Work

A couple of months ago, we reported that Havas Chicago had lost a small chunk of its Sonic business, specifically in-store work that entailed POS, menus and packaging among other components (the agency retained its CRM and digital business for the brand). Well, a friendly tipster alerted us yesterday to the news that the drive-in fast-food chain has found a successor in Kansas City-based Sullivan Higdon & Sink, which Sonic itself has now confirmed is the new below-the-line agency for the brand.

A company spokesperson tells us that the appointment of SH&S consolidates work previously done by Havas Chicago and TracyLocke. In a statement, Sonic VP of marketing Todd Smith adds, “SHS brings a wealth of talent and experience that will complement Sonic’s current agency roster with creative execution at the drive in and local market levels. Plus, selecting SHS consolidates several marketing practices to one agency that will provide synergies and efficiencies.”

As a result of Sonic’s decision, which was actually made before the holidays, SH&S will be partnering with the brand on on-lot and in-store communications, merchandising, menus, field and local store marketing efforts. Meanwhile, Goodby Silverstein & Partners remains Sonic’s creative AOR while ZenithOptimedia continues as media AOR. Sonic would not reveal the names of the other agencies that participated in the below-the-line review, which was assisted by Joanne Davis Consulting.