Commenting on its financial results for 2013 yesterday evening (5 March), the sportswear maker said its brands needed to be more relevant online in order to propel demand. It is setting up internal digital newsrooms, in partnership with video platform the TheNewsMarket, over the next 12 months to tap into trending topics, a move that builds on the “moments of celebration and acknowledgment” real-time marketing strategy it currently employs with its agencies.
Adidas will also set-up a global digital center at Reebok’s headquarters in Massachusetts where it says its teams will target the younger consumers online. In addition, the fitness brand will launch “Reebok Production Studios” to speed up branded content creation. The digital overhaul comes more than a year after it completed an audit of its social media footprint.
Herbert Hainer, chief executive of the Adidas Group, told analysts the investments would allow its marketers to better coordinate the brand’s online presence as well as leverage and magnify key trend initiatives all year around.
Hainer added: “The majority of our communication activities today happen in social media, because this is the space where our core target consumer is engaging with brand content.
“To bring greater consistency, increase speed and drive higher levels of brand activation online, Adidas will be investing throughout the year in establishing digital newsrooms around the globe. This will allow us to better coordinate the brand’s online presence as well as leverage and magnify key brand initiatives all year round.”
The digital plan forms part of the brand’s aggressive push in 2014 after sales across Western Europe fell 6 per cent year-on-year last year. It is overhauling its retail offering to drive higher sales margins ahead of this summer’s World Cup alongside bolstering the support for its Adidas Originals urban street wear range. Promotions with celebrity ambassadors such as Alicia Keys, Shaquille O’Neal are also planned alongside a push to celebrate the 20th anniversary this year of the Reebok Insta Pump Fury trainer.
Heiner said the business would use its sponsorship of the World Cup to drive record football sales claiming, “2014 is a football year, and it will be an Adidas football year”.