City agency hires U.S. skate star to promote Sheffield ice blade manufacturer

Sheffield photographer Nick Eagle, figure skater Gracie Gold and Jim Lobley of the Black Eye Project
Sheffield photographer Nick Eagle, figure skater Gracie Gold and Jim Lobley of the Black Eye Project
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N-ice move...Sheffield-based creative agency The Black Eye Project is celebrating after signing America’s top female figure skater and national treasure, Gracie Gold, as a brand ambassador for Sheffield firm HD Sports, the world’s leading figure skate blade manufacturer.

HD Sports is the parent company of two of skating’s most famous brands, John Wilson and MK Blades, the blades of choice for every Olympic and World champion for over 30 years, including Torvill and Dean.

Gracie is a US Nationals champion and represented the US in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. She has been skating on John Wilson’s ‘Pattern 99’ blades since the age of seven. She ended 2014 ranked number three in the world - all while wearing her Sheffield-handcrafted Pattern 99 blades.

Jim Lobley, Creative Director at Black Eye Project, said: “Gracie is much in demand with other sports brands - she’s just signed a five-year deal with Nike - so it’s a real coup for us. She is America’s sweetheart and is the perfect ambassador for the brand. We’ve done a photo shoot in New York with Gracie and Sheffield photographer Nick Eagle and have some incredible shots for the 2015 advertising and marketing campaign.”

HD Sports has a 300-year history and has crafted blades for numerous world and Olympic champions since Royal toolmaker John Wilson started making blades in 1696. Now the foremost pioneer in blade technology, their traditional craftsmen combine expertise with the finest spring steel and modern CNC technology to foster excellence in skating.

Award-winning The Black Eye Project was set up four years ago by advertising specialist Jim Lobley and designer Tom Storer who had worked for a number of top London agencies. It works with high profile clients.