With the FIFA World Cup in full swing, with fans’ enthusiasm at fever pitch levels of excitement, it makes perfect sense how a brand like Adidas would want a slice of the action – and as part of its efforts, it’s sent a 40-person team to the games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Ad Age reporter Julie Ruvolo has been following Adidas’ team in its quest to become the most popular brand in an event watched by the entire world. So far, its strategies seem to be working – on Twitter, Adidas is the most mentioned brand, with more than 1.6 million tweets, retweets, and replies about it. Plus, its hashtag #allin is the most used brand hashtag right now, with about 570,000 mentions.
On YouTube, it’s doubled its audience by adding 200,000 new subscribers since the World Cup began, and on Facebook, it now has another one million fans.
“We want to be the most talked-about brand at World Cup,” says Tom Ramsden, brand marketing director for Adidas Football, in an interview with Ruvolo. “We knew we were going to do something real-time, that isn’t completely brand new to us, but it is at this scale.
Here’s a quick rundown of what Adidas, as one of the World Cup’s biggest major sponsors, has been doing to promote itself and to reach its goal to become the most popular brand in school:
Building a “Content Bible”
A year before the World Cup ever kicked off, Adidas tapped a social media agency called We Are Social to gather content on 100 Adidas-sponsored players. The content includes about 1,000 images and 160 videos that can work with whatever happens during gameplay. By the time December rolled around, We Are Social had set up an hourly calendar for the 32-day World Cup, building content around the games.
Reaching the right people with the right message at the right time
As gameplay unfolds, it’s been crucial for Adidas and We Are Social to get their messaging and timing right. According to Joe Weston, an account director at We Are Social, Adidas has been delivering its content to screens on the subway in Germany, as well as to flatscreens in German Adidas stores. The content lines up with whatever’s going on – for example, when Adidas player Mats Hummels scored a goal for Germany against France, Adidas started pushing out images of him soon afterwards.
— adidasfussball (@adidasfussball) July 4, 2014
“It’s about telling the right stories at the right time,” Weston said. “We can take something that’s much bigger than social and activate it from German undergrounds to retail stores across the world. Being able to dictate retail space from the content created in this room is massive. And none of the content we push out repeats, on that channel or on others, except for special hero moments.”
“It’s about telling the right stories at the right time,” says Joe Weston, a We Are Social account director. “We can take something that’s much bigger than social and activate it from German undergrounds to retail stores across the world. Being able to dictate retail space from the content created in this room is massive. And none of the content we push out repeats, on that channel or on others, except for special hero moments.”
Being ready for moments and story options
As things have been unfolding, the team at Adidas has ensured it’s thinking ahead and preparing its options. For example, when Colombian player James Rodriguez started getting attention as one of the top players of the World Cup, the team came up with a story option for his ascension to stardom, while referencing the fact the player was named after secret agent James Bond. The resulting tweet? An image of the player, plus the tweet, “Tomorrow never dies. @jamesdrodriguez #allin or nothing.”
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