On Saturday, UKSN (and a group of UKSN competition winners) took a trip to the adidas lab in Bloomsbury, London. The pop-up studio was created to compliment the Champions League Final festivities around London and aimed to highlight the adidas football products of the future and a glimpse into how football kit, match balls and a dugout could look like in 2015.
Alongside having the opportunity to try on the three new adidas boots: Nitrocharge, Predator Lethal Zones and f50; we could also see the potential of miCoach and adidas smartball. We were also shown the 99g concept boot and the rest of the 2015 concept kit that will weight just 630g, head-to-toe!
adidas had also set-up several interactive stages to demonstrate their technology:
- ‘The Track’: A shuttle-run, with ball-control added, to be completed in one pair of the new boots as quick as possible. This positioned you on a leaderboard with your key stats, suggested the boot for you and uploaded your efforts to YouTube.
- The Dugout: Whilst watching a video of FC Bayern training, we were able to flick through slides that demonstrated the data collected how this contributed to the potential of miCoach.
- Shooting: Wearing the Lethal Zone boots, and using the smartball, adidas could track the speed of the ball, as well as the bend, flight path and where the ball was struck.
The whole event was superbly integrated with social media whereby those in the lab were able to connect RFID wristbands with a chosen social network, and throughout the session this data was tweeted/posted instantly to your feeds. With ‘The Track’, a 30 second video was uploaded immediately to YouTube, and posted on your feed. Below is an example of Dan demonstrating great footwork and the pace and agility of Eden Hazard:
In the evening, during the Champions League Final build-up, adidas put on a panel session hosted by Marcus Speller (The Football Ramble). The panel included Richard Welsh (Creative Director, Copa90), Tom Ramsden (Global Brand Marketing Director – Football, adidas), Steve Nuttall (Senior Director – Sports, YouTube), Nick Chiarelli (Account Director, Future Foundation) and BT Sport’s Leigh Moore.
The discussion focused upon the future of football, and sports broadcasting. Key topics included the differences BT Sport could bring to the market, the importance of user-generated content and second-screen viewing. Of course, there was also significant discussion about the adidas products on show and how they will contribute to the future of football, and of broadcasting. Much of this conversation centred upon data, and how this could be used for football in the future.
With a drink in hand and several projectors set-up, we then enjoyed the Champions League Final amongst many, apparently Dortmund, fans!
A neat touch was the inclusion of a stats board that tied with Opta and Twitter. This live-board constantly updated to show top Champions League trends, top #UCLFinal tweets, a minute-by-minute comparison between #BVB and #FCB and in-depth match stats such as possession and passes completed. It was a great addition to the match viewing.
A big thank you to adidas and the others that helped to organise the event. It was a roaring success and showed adidas at their innovative best.