At the World Cup, adidas Wins Big for Germany—and Soccer


Germany won in more ways than one following the results of Sunday’s World Cup final, where the country’s national team claimed victory over Argentina in a 1-0 overtime thriller and one of its biggest brands, adidas, solidified its superiority in the sport over rival Nike.  

adidas, an official sponsor of the Cup, outfitted both Germany’s and Argentina’s teams, helping the brand declare victory over Nike since the two brands launched an epic marketshare battle centered around the tournament. Ultimately, adidas prevailed as the most talked about brand during the Cup thanks to a broad marketing strategy that included ads, social media and a major presence at the event. 

For one thing, as Bloomberg notes, many of the players Nike had signed as brand ambassadors were either injured or sent packing early in the Cup, while many of those under contract with adidas, particularly Argentina’s Lionel Messi, stayed in the tournament for much longer, ultimately giving adidas a lot more air-time.[more]

In addition, “social media marketing company Encore Alert found that adidas got 150 percent more engagement (such as retweets and favorites) from its World Cup tweets than from ‘peacetime’ ones,” Bloomberg reports. “Nike got minus 10 percent.” 

And while the Cup may be over, the battle is far from it. Still, adidas has already been hard at work post-Cup securing its share of the football market, including its official announcement of its $1.3 billion, 10-year deal to supply kits for Manchester United, the star team that Nike walked away from last week.

Manchester United plc has reached a 10-year agreement with adidas, beginning 2015/16. More:

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 14, 2014

Meanwhile, Brazil isn’t alone in looking forward to the 2016 Rio Olympics; Nike released a TV commercial during the World Cup closing match highlighting athletes’ anticipation to return, too:

More World Cup branding news:

• Nissan is continuing to invest in soccer as a promotional vehicle, announcing its third soccer-related campaign in the last four months.

• FIFA sponsor McDonald’s (whose ROI on World Cup social engagement works out to about two Big Macs per social mention) finished its Fryfutbol series of game re-enactments using French fries to fill-in for players with one fry holding a tiny World Cup trophy aloft.

• Germany’s victory could create a boost for all products with the “Made in Germany” label. 

Puma may have stayed out of the way of the Adidas-Nike brawl, but it’s making its move with a new uniform for England’s Arsenal club.

• The biggest moment for brand engagement during the Cup turned out to be when Uruguay’s Luis Suarez took a chomp on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini. 

• Cup sponsor Emirates Airlines had its big moment after the Final when its flight attendants handed gold medals to the German team in the closing ceremony.

—Connect with Mark on Twitter: @markjmill


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