VMLY&R named AOR for YMCA, will staff up

The “Y” in VMLY&R has more value tonight. The Chicago office, whose headquarters is in Kansas City, has been named “Agency of Record” for The YMCA. The agency scored the win after a competitive pitch for the business, making it the second win in two days.

Woot. Woot.

In its new role, VMLY&R will be tasked with developing an integrated brand campaign across television, digital and social media platforms.

Besides giving the non-profit organization a new look and feel, the strategy for the new campaign, which according to the agency is slated to debut late in 2020, will set out to attract individuals and families.

VMLY&R’s creative, technology, and connections teams will also help Y-USA undergo a digital transformation in 2020 to modernize and enhance its digital footprint. The appointment marks a key step in the Y’s collective national and local marketing strategy. 

“There are few brands as iconic as the YMCA that have the power to bring community values and purpose together,” said Madeline Larsen, VMLY&R Chicago Executive Director. “We’re excited to leverage our expertise and skills to build a truly connected brand experience that brings the Y to the forefront of people’s minds.” 

The Y currently has more than 10,000 communities across the country serving more than 22 million people.

VMLY&R’s win comes just two days after the the shop landed agency of record status for Kontoor Brands’ Lee global apparel brand.

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 “At the Y, we take immense pride in our work to strengthen communities all over the country. We provide a place to play, to learn, to be healthy, to connect and to give back,” said Valerie Waller, Y-USA Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. “VMLY&R brings tremendous brand and customer expertise, a depth of knowledge in the nonprofit sector, and a true passion for our mission, making them an ideal partner to help us tell our story.” 

A spokeswoman for the WPP agency said that the two new business wins means it’s likely VMLY&R will add to the more than 70 staff that currently work out of the agency’s Chicago office. Other clients on the Chicago roster include Kraft Heinz and Butterball, the familiar turkey brand.