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This strategy will depend on Adidas’s ability to harness social media with similar success to its Olympic Games activity last year. Vollebregt confirms that Adidas will again seek to connect with a young and energetic audience during the World Cup by using social media to broadcast its content on a mass scale and engage with fans in real-time. The brand is building up its in-house social media capability before launching its online World Cup platforms later this year.
“We’re going to bring fans along with us on the World Cup journey and give them access to content and experiences that they’ve never had before,” says Vollebregt. “That’s something only we can bring because as a sponsor we have access to teams, players and assets that no one else has.”
This exclusivity is important in the context of Adidas’s ongoing battle for supremacy with Nike. Although Adidas is the World Cup sponsor, Nike is the official sportswear partner of the Brazilian national football team and has deals with some of the country’s biggest club sides.
Vollebregt points out, however, that Adidas is also well established in Brazil and has tie-ups of its own with major teams such as Palmeiras, Fluminense and Flamengo. “That’s a pretty big footprint to already have in the market,” she says.
In addition, Vollebregt suggests that the World Cup will support Adidas as it continues to push its reputation for cutting edge technology in sport. “The World Cup is a stage where we launch all our new innovations,” she says. “It’s something we really work towards and get excited about.”