NYCA Invites Golfers to “Suit Up”

September 29, 2009

For Immediate Release:

Innovative interactive feature equips users for some of the world’s toughest courses.

Reflecting adidasGolf’s unique philosophy that golfers are athletes, as well as its mission to create equipment for the body, NYCA has created a website for the performance-focused company that gives users the opportunity to interact with the footwear and apparel, be inspired by a fitness regime specially designed for golfers and enhance their own golf game.

Picture 1pr

The site,, centers around the idea of “Suit up,” a battle cry born of the idea that when one puts on their golf clothing it should look great but be more than fashion – it must get them mentally and physically prepared to take on the challenges of the game. The technology part of the site goes into detail about the innovations that adidasGolf brings to the golfer.

In the unique, interactive “Suit Up” section, golfers are – for the first time ever – able to change the weather at some of the world’s most challenging golf courses, including Royal Birkdale and Whistling Straits, and learn how to conquer the elements with equipment suggestions for those specific conditions.Picture 5pr

The “Suit Up” mantra also applies to the golfer’s mind, body and spirit, and features a golf-specific “Conditioning” section which includes a workout regimen, as well as sections devoted to nutrition and mindset, where golfers are encouraged to approach the sport with an athletic philosophy.  Because of its leadership in emphasizing the importance of fitness and mindset, adidasGolf has the support of Core Performance and Mark Verstegen, one of the top sports fitness trainers, contributing content based around this philosophy.

Picture 11pr“Every piece of adidasGolf equipment is created to enhance the performance of the golfer,” says John Kawaja, Executive Vice President/General Manager of adidasGolf. “The new site dramatizes the philosophy, the innovation and the benefits of our mission with a total dedication to bringing the athlete closer to the sport.”

According to Michael Mark, creative director/CEO at NYCA, “From the idea to the design, everything about is about athleticism and performance. It’s an authentic connection between the game, the golfer and apparel and footwear that are so technically superior they perform for the golfer the way true equipment should.”

NYCA, a full-service advertising agency, opened its doors and arms to the world in March 2002. Clients include TaylorMade Adidas Golf Worldwide, Rossa Putters, Maxfli Golf, ViewSonic Corp., The San Diego Union-Tribune,, The EastLake Company, Kyocera Wireless, EnDev (Stingaree, Side Bar, The Witherby, Ciro’s, Bar West), San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Dental Choice, Duramed FUTURES Tour and others. The 38 remarkable NYCAers work on the beaches of Encinitas, California. Lucky, huh? Log on to to learn more.

Doubt kills more companies than incompetency.

September 24, 2009

By Michael Mark, creative director & CEO @ NYCA

I believe this is the first headline I wrote for any client at NYCA, some seven years ago. It was for a company called HNC that four months later got bought by Fair Isaacs. And it is one of my favorite lines because it is true and I’ve used it to help run our company.

guesingDoubt causes second-guessing, fear, discontent and slowness and that is death for a company. We have to be brave to be creative. We have to believe that we are going to make nothing into something and good into great. 

Doubt undermines that boldness. Adversity is often real but it always needs to be turned into opportunity.

The best way to deal with uncertainty, I have found, not being the smartest guy, is a steadfast commitment to values and principles. Knowing what you believe to be true at its core and acting on it with complete discipline stares down creeping doubt. Clinging to those values gets you through the cloudy place that doubt leaves you to muck through. Principles are tools that help you see beyond what appears to be a wall and it opens roads on which to break speed records, as well as do some sightseeing. 

One night I sat down to jot down some thoughts and when I got up I had written 64 expectations for our agency. Each statement is something that I believe in deeply. I give the booklet out to each new NYCAer at our one-on-one orientation. It helps guide us all. Here are a few Seeds: 

 “grow! work is powered by a message that is highly engaging to the target, is true to the core values of the brand/product/service and is exceptionally inspired so it performs dramatically well in the marketplace.” 

This is our purpose. If you are unclear as what to do, do this.  

“We are a team. Wonderful as we are as individual talents, we are more powerful as a team.”  This is about how we do what we do.”

“Take your good ideas and sweat them, prod them, tough-love them, tickle them into grow! ideas.”  This is about work ethic and believing the extra effort is always worth it, so when you think maybe it can be better, it can be. Go at it again.

Our belief system speeds us past doubt right into action.

To perform better later, perform better now.

September 18, 2009

By Michael Mark, creative director & CEO @NYCA

Golf Pros — and these are the best in the world, physically and mentally — score better on Thursday than on Sunday. The average score at a PGA event on Thursday is always lower than on Sunday.

Why the difference, why is it higher?puttinggreen_practice_1

It’s the same course, the same equipment, the same competition.

The players themselves are the ones who change and obviously not for the better.

It’s because the players are thinking differently on Sunday. They are adding another element beyond playing the game well: winning.

Thursday is the day the tournament begins and it ends Sunday.

You cannot win or lose the tournament on Thursday but on Sunday you will.

As they get closer to the final hole the golfers think beyond the hole, beyond the shot – no longer about just hitting the ball in the direction they want or even getting a low score which, as you know if you play golf, is hard enough.

Maybe it’s the trophy, the jacket, the check, the fame, the approval of their peers, their parents – all this comes with winning and not if they lose.

And so the act of hitting the golf ball becomes so much different than the act hitting a golf ball.

And the scores reflect it.

Their need to win saps them of their ability to play well enough to win.

They are getting ahead of themselves. They are thinking about the results of the tournament and putting their energies outside ‘the ropes’ and so diluting their powers to affect the outcome which they care so much about.

Winning is not part of the golf action: the back swing, the down swing, the contact, the follow through. It is another state entirely, and when the two are forced to combine, it causes confusion and distraction and inefficiency and unhappiness, as well as errant golf shots.

This is true in all endeavors, personal and professional. The more we encumber ourselves the less well we perform. We restrict ourselves under the pressure we put on ourselves unnecessarily.

We must stay in the present moment in all we do.  If we just hit the best shots we can we have the best chance at winning. It’s all we can do. And anything else is harmful to the cause.

My son, Alex, wants to be a CFO of a multinational corporation.  Today he is an undergraduate at a prestigious university’s business school. If he wants to run that big, complicated company, the best way for him to do that is to pay full attention to his studies today. That focus on the professor, the assignment, the studying will get him eventually to a place where he can do a good job leading the corporation when that time comes. Not before. This is difficult for anyone with a dream, especially a young energetic entrepreneurial person like him, to understand. He must succeed now in his school work in order to succeed in the now of his CFO role once that now comes.

The golfers can not pick up of the trophy until the final shot is completed. So best to complete the final shot first, completely, and then pick up the trophy and then kiss it completely. In that order. And then cash the big check…. No confusion or distraction here. Simple as back swing, down swing, contact, follow through on Thursday. Certainly there is happiness in the flow. Oh, and less pressure because you accept the moment’s offerings.

In my profession we have award shows – hundreds of them, perhaps thousands. Awards are nice and recognition is vital for self esteem. But when you think of winning an award as you create, you dilute your ability to do great work. Your energy is going to two distinct channels and not doing justice to either.  

So focus on the task – stay in the present. Enjoy the shot, the memo, the PowerPoint, the conversation, the hand-holding, the salad, the view, the moment, yourself, life.

And Thursday will be just as great as Sunday as Monday as 9:33am as Now.

Can negative viral marketing have a positive effect on sales?

September 15, 2009

By Jason Marchioni, Media Strategist @NYCA

If you are a habitual Ad Age reader, you probably saw the most recent article surrounding  This blog site invites people to upload, rate and comment on photos of oddly-dressed, weirdly-behaving people seen shopping at Walmart.  
This site appears to have been created in the name of good fun. It’s the kind of virtual people-watching we all crave. Whether you’re a frequent Walmart shopper, or have only been there occasionally, retail people-watching is a sport we’ve all engaged in. The site brings us closer to Walmart by letting us experience some of its inherent fun from our desks. And yet, some of the content on the site denigrates its subjects.

Should Walmart embrace the site and join in the fun?  Or should it try to put a stop to it and risk being viewed as an establishment with no sense of humor?  Or perhaps, in the advice of Stanley Bing in “Throwing the Elephant,” perhaps they should do nothing —  stand by idle and wait for the next big viral hit to draw the attention away? Difficult as it might seem to refrain from reaction, It appears that Walmart will follow this path. Walmart spokesperson David Tovar has declined to speak to the media by simply releasing this statement, “it doesn’t seem like it’s news that there’s a website that allows people to post photos on it.”   

That’s a pretty humorless response. Walmart probably hates this site. And with good reason. Many anti-Walmart advocates have called for Walmart’s demise due to its notorious reputation of siphoning customers from formerly-thriving local business. And now this site throws pot-shots at its consumers! What’s a brand to do!

Fact is, people are in love with The founders had to move the site to bigger servers to accommodate the influx of traffic.’s traffic has also risen – probably the back to school shopping wave. But perhaps is unwitting advertising for a product we all consume at Walmart: the sheer experience of being there. It’s possible that Walmart will enjoy beneficial effects of We’ll have to watch and see.

What happened September 11, 2001

September 10, 2009

By Michael Mark, creative director/ceo @NYCA

To those of you who lost loved ones in the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, here’s what happened in their final moments.


Your father was a hero.  When the building shook from the blast, he did not concern himself with fear.  He helped unblock an office door which had been barricaded by debris and furniture that had moved. He freed three people.

Your friend who was on the plane being hijacked recognized immediately how serious the matter was and reached to calm the shaking hand of the person in the next seat.

Your wife saw a man bleeding from his head and she tore a piece from her shirt and made a bandage for him.

Your aunt helped her co-workers who could not find the exit through the smoke – they all made it. Then she went back for others.

Your nephew who was the pilot on the plane had only the safety of everyone on board in focus every second.

Your grandfather found a young man pinned under a fallen piece of ceiling and even when the young man said go on without him – he stayed until others heard the calls and came to help.

Your husband took on the hijackers believing it would cost his life. He helped save hundreds of people neither of you will ever know.

Your grandmother who worked at the Pentagon led hundreds who were physically stronger to a secure area, putting them before her own welfare as she always has.

Your uncle gave his water to a choking woman who gave him God’s blessing with every floor they arrived at, arm in arm.

Your brother who always wanted to be a policeman knew without doubt as he followed the cries for help up the stairs this was the moment why. 

Your sister searched her entire floor to make sure everyone was out of there before she began to make her own way down. 

Your friend held the exit door open for his office-mates with his wheelchair, cheering as they moved on that “We’ll all get out together.” And he didn’t so much hold on to those who lifted him down as he hugged them.

Your son would not let the tired woman stop. He cajoled her by telling her she reminded him of you; how you two had to meet. He even called her mom to keep her moving.

Your flight attendant daughter was forced to the back of the plane with all the others on board but stood in front of them in protective defiance; keeping herself between the terrorists and her passengers.

Your sister climbed back up three flights against the crowd and heat, believing her assistant was still there.

Your college buddy’s sense of humor kept all in his voice’s range smiling and moving with hope.

Your niece lent her shoulder to lean on for a man she had seen in the elevator so many times but whose name she never knew.

Your sister-in-law saw a man sitting in the stairwell coughing, and shared her asthma medicine. They moved on together.

Your firefighter brother-in-law helped hundreds of people out, redirecting them to clearer exits as he climbed higher and higher.

Your nephew and his boss carried an older woman 38 floors.

Your cousin got everyone to sing “The Long and Winding Road” as they worked their way down, making up the words they didn’t know.

Your mother’s last thoughts were the same thoughts she’s had as she lay her head down every night since you were born.

You wonder what happened. You want to know what these people you love were feeling, what they were thinking, what they went through in their final moments.  These are actual facts, exactly as they happened. As true as their love for you. As true as their faith in your love for them.

Single Tasking

September 8, 2009

By Michael Mark, creative director/ceo @NYCA

To be completely focused and dedicate your energies totally to one endeavor is connecting with the task, the moment, life, yourself.

And it is a good way to live and work efficiently. 

I am finding it challenging and counter to what I believed and have been trained to do, which is more things at one time to accomplish more.  

single taskingI have texted, talked, driven, thought, eaten, dreamed, worked at the same time. And did none of them to the fullest, I am sure, while jeopardizing so much and so many.   

Juggling is part of my job, I thought: assignments, communications, writing, managing, clients, family, G-d, money. I figured I was doing well by feeding as many as I could at once – though each was starving. I was starving. 

The unity and wholeness in a single act is so rewarding both spiritually and physically, and intellectually refreshing we should do it just for the self nourishment but I am discovering it is also more productive. When we try to cram more into less time, we are cheating ourselves out of time. That seems counter to the intention.

And not only is the single-minded process much healthier and more productive, but the outcome  is so much better. 

One person, one act, one breath at a time. 

We move from how many things we got done to how much we got done. 

And I maintain the quantity is higher when focusing our superhuman powers on one activity. 

In subtraction, I find that doing one thing commands all my attention to fulfill the promise of the task.  

If you think it’s easy doing one thing completely at a time, try it and let me know.

Tell me after you’re done trying, not during.   

I will read it while doing nothing else. I hope that will feel good to you – it’s rare these days to receive one’s full attention. 

I guess that’s doing two things at one time in a way. Told you it’s challenging.

Advertising’s Obligation to Society

September 4, 2009

By Michelle Edelman, President @NYCA

I debated whether to write this blog post or not, as its very existence will yield another set of impressions for this advertising.

DDB and WWF Brazil teamed up to create this execution and both companies are quite remorseful about this. 

9 4 09 blog post picture

 And yet, someone at DDB submitted this to the One Show, and it won an award there. The One Show is also quite remorseful about this. 

As businesspeople, we all have an obligation to move society forward in a positive way. In advertising, we have even a greater obligation, as advertising has the ability to influence people, their attitudes, and the culture at large more than most other business sectors. 

Where were the checks and balances here? Agency concepted, client approved, judges gave accolades. 

Now that society is expressing disgust, the entities involved are expressing remorse. But why didn’t their humility safety valves kick in earlier? 

This advertising pulls a cheap trick – it says “look at me” and garners attention in “gapers block” style. But is it responsible to WWF’s brand? I think all those planes might have easily been pointing at the WWF logo. 

And is it responsible to society? This ad defaces the reality of a moment of significant cultural change. Some things are not fair game for advertising borrowed interest.

Unconventional thinking

September 2, 2009

By Michael Mark, creative director/ceo @NYCA

No place for conventional thinking. 

Thump thump humm drumm goes the ceaseless unconscious pounding of conventional thinking. It’s easy to fall in lock step if you are surrounded by it, sameness is a hypnotic narcotic.  the-brain

That senseless sound and what it un-produces drove us to open NYCA in Encinitas.

For those millions who never heard of this quiet hamlet, Encinitas geographically sits somewhere between. Between Mexico and LA.  Between the Pacific Ocean and the city. Psychographically Encinitas has NYCA rooted smack between our clients and their customers.

Industries tend to congregate and behave like each other. The restaurants in Little Italy get their cheese from the same distributors. The financial district’s investment firms have the same methods, buy low sell high (yeah, right). The car dealerships are all in a row with their balloons and tactics. Same goes for ad agencies, hey balloons are cool.  

In Encinitas we are far enough from “Madison Avenue” mindset and the tired traditions of marketing to have our own perspective and so unencumbered we move with greater accuracy and at the speed of the customer not the industry, fueled by originality.

We even get paid differently.

Out here even by the roar of the ocean waves we can better hear our client’s unique voices, their customer’s needs and discover the most efficient ways to bridge the two. We aren’t about the latest we are about the most effective, the most, ok, now here’s an exciting word: relevant solutions.

Artists who develop their true original voice find larger audiences, by-stepping trends to become mainstays. Picasso, Bob Dylan, Beckett. The same is true of a brand’s voice. If it is authentic then it will remain relevant, vibrant and the customers will gather ‘round wherever they roam.

Our agency doesn’t have a voice itself. Another loud difference. We act as intermediaries, mid-wives if you will, to help find the brand’s identity, cultivate it and express it so well that it brings the customer closer. Once intimate enough to engage we have tools to encourage the customer to buy, that’s right, put the cash down! And that’s the time you will hear NYCAers’ voices rising – hollering at the sales data.

We’re blue collar that way.

You can sell better in Encinitas. When you’re right on Main Street it’s easier to be with the customer than on the 31st floor.

So not going to work the same way other agencies do we end up not working the same way either.

As Albert Einstein said “You cannot solve the problem by using the same level of consciousness that created the problem.”

Being out here we keep an active relationship with innovation, with seminars and speakers brought in, what we call mixology. We find it’s actually easier to lead when you’re not looking over your shoulder at your competition.

Now the question is if we’ll continue to attract the right clients off the beaten path. The ones that have have ventured over have grown – every one of them.

We have certainly attracted remarkable deeply experienced senior talent from all over the country.

In the end the TA-DA is..ya that we work so closely with our clients that there is no TA-DA. To the consumer, yes, to them maybe we get a gasp of comfort in a disquieting industry is all.

We are so in-sync that while we take leaps with our work there’s no “How did you get there?”

We have been that close in the process. Another difference and maybe the biggest and best one.

You want drama – raise a teenager.

So that’s what happening in Encinitas – coming up with business-building grow ideas by the beach.

One after another. Again and again. Over and over.

Like that thump thump hummm drummm but far and away different.