I was reading back over Amalia’s post last week, and I realised there is a whole world of sports marketing – both from teams and brands – that we can tap into more. This branch of the industry is also prone to some pretty clear missteps, but today I wanted to shine the light on one that really connected a couple of years ago.
Adidas have always been at the top of the game when it comes to marketing around Football (the soccer variant), and have always been a mouthpiece for the “elite” side of the sport, through partnerships with the biggest players and teams. As a result, they’ve always been ambitious and aspirational as a brand when it comes to sports equipment, in contrast to their broader fashion.
So, in 2019 Adidas launched a campaign that changed their game somewhat, focussing on the values of their customers, rather than their ability. This campaign was called “Dare To Create”
So, what was the campaign?
At its foundation, “Dare To Create” was an advert for a new Adidas Football boot – something which generates conversation and demand without much additional work needed at this point – but this one was different, as Adidas tried to appeal to the values and characteristics of the players themselves, rather than simply the prestige of the brand.
The campaign uses the faces of players from all over the world who are known for their “creative” abilities on the pitch to generate a particularly strong and clear call to action – take the risk, play the pass, dare to do something different. By doing so, it made the ad not just a specific way to play, but a way for those wearing Adidas to live.
Here is a link to the campaign: https://youtu.be/FwR2iVYfDV4
So, what values does this campaign enable?
Unlike many sports campaigns which focus on the achievement and joy of playing the sport, this is more of a callout to the individual to be creative and decide their own path in the game. It’s asking players to take risks and “give the people what they want” – which is a very football way of saying “do something we’ve never seen before”. It extends beyond just football though – the young audience watching this can also take this into their lives in general and see that being different or out of the ordinary will enable them to forge their own path.
There is still a lot of achievement here though. By using many internationally recognized players, they’re telling the audience that through their creativity, they can reach that same level as their idol.
It’s used commonly in sports ads, but I think this one demonstrates how effective ads like these are as a tool as well – by using renowned stars and creating a strong call to action, brands can create genuine connections between values that will be played out not only on sports pitches, but also in classrooms, playgrounds, and daily life.
There are many ways to achieve, and Adidas’ focus on being different and following your own path particularly stuck out to me.
Thanks and have a great week!
George (Research Manager, OMTM)