Adidas unveils new global brand strategy

Adidas is to launch its first major product-led brand push since the London 2012 Olympics with a multi-million pound global campaign promoting a new running range as it looks to build on the positive association it enjoyed from its sponsorship of the Games.

Adidas’ new Boost footwear range will vie for dominance of the running market with rivals Nike and Asics.

The company will position the ‘Boost’ footwear range, launching later this week (13 February), as the premium brand for runners. Adidas has developed what it calls “midsole energy capsules”, an innovative cushioning technology it will build the brand round similarly to what rival Nike did with Air Max in the 80s.

The launch will be supported by activity featuring its brand ambassadors. In the UK, a high-profile TV push will premier next week (20 February) ahead of outdoor, print and online activity to introduce the campaign’s ‘Endless Energy’ strapline.

The company will also run promotions and sampling for the Boost range at the Berlin, Boston and London marathons. It will also promote the range at Parkrun, a series of weekly running events worldwide.

Adrian Leek, senior vice president for global running for Adidas, told Marketing Week: “Running is a key growth area for the sports market but there hasn’t been any major innovation in it from a product standpoint in recent years. We’re trying to change that with a premium product that we can build on in the long-term and make the market more competitive on product innovation.”

Adidas, which has historically been known predominately as a football brand, hopes the initiative will recoup some of the brand awareness it says it lost in the category last year when its focus was on sponsoring the London Games.

Despite the lack of marketing around running during this period, the company cited the category as a key driver in an 11 per cent rise in revenues to €4.17bn (£3.5bn) in the third quarter of 2012 as more people opted for it as a cheaper alternative to going to the gym, the business claims.

The company has earmarked the running category as one of the key growth drivers for it to reach a self-imposed sales target of €17bn (£14.5bn) by 2015. But it faces stiff competition from Nike and Asics, which are both upping their marketing investment in the category in the coming months.

Adidas plans to extend the Boost strategy to other sports categories in the coming months and will use insight from its online ‘Adidas’ Insiders’ community to develop future collections and campaigns.

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