Tag Archives: adidas

Who’s Winning The #WorldCup Battle Of The Brands On Twitter? #stats

With only 2 days until the opening ceremony in Rio of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we thought we’d take a look at who is being talked about on Twitter. This last month has seen all the main sponsors (and the traditional ambush brands) pushing their multi-million pound ad campaigns.

All those brands will be looking at how many times they’ve getting mentioned on Twitter – as well as a deep dive into who it is who is doing the talking (influencers), what they’re talking about (good or bad) and if it’s actually affected their bottom line.

There are some easy direct comparisons to make as there tends to be a big sponsor and then an equally large brand who are looking for a piece of the World Cup action. Below we’ve taken a look at adidas v Nike, Coca Cola v Pepsi and Hyundai v Vauxhall.

adidas v Nike

This is the one which has already filled out many column inches in both the trade press and traditional business ones too. The last World Cup was dominated by Nike with their “Write The Future” campaign headed by Cristiano Ronaldo. This time adidas haven’t been as complacent with a number of new digital initiatives, whilst Nike have once again gone for the BIG player dominated ad (and cartoon).

So lets take a look at the mentions of @adidasfootball v @nikefootball

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It may come as a bit of a surprise to see that @adidasfootball has so far dominated the conversation over the last month. The main spike from @nikefootball coming in the last few days with the release of the final part of their film trilogy “The Last Game“. adidas saw their peak come with the launch of “The Dream” ad featuring their star man, Leo Messi.

What we are missing is the peaks in April when the big ads started to hit our screens. It’s going to be close this year for sure in the battle of the two dominant sports brands during the Finals itself. And then we’ll find out the financial results later on in the year when we hear who made their sales targets.

Coca Cola v Pepsi

This is as keenly fought as the battle of the sports brands. Coca Cola are a long-time supporter of FIFA and have recently renewed their sponsorship up until 2022. Pepsi have taken the Nike approach to major events and spent their money on marketing campaigns and players rather than event sponsorships.

This is more clear cut with Coca Cola enjoying much of the conversation. What it doesn’t show though is a break down of those mentions that include the World Cup or football. Some of the peaks are around non-sports events and gives an indication more of their overall performance as a brand.

Coca Cola v Pepsi


Hyundai v Vauxhall

This is a slightly left field one but worth looking at after the recent involvement of both brands at last month’s Digital Sport London event. Hyundai (in co-sponsorship with Kia) are a FIFA partner whilst Vauxhall are involved in the event through their sponsorship of the England team.

Hyundai have been running competitions to brand the team buses (which didn’t go entirely to plan) and in the UK have partnered with Copa90 to provide a different platform to talk about the event. Vauxhall meanwhile have loaded their campaign up front with Facebook Q&A’s and behind-the-scenes content from friendlies and training days as the players started to prepare for their trip to Brazil.

It’s clear though that Hyundai have a long way to when it comes to maximising their presence on social media for their football sponsorship. They have no dedicated football account, which they do on Facebook but has not been updated since Euro 2012. Vauxhall meanwhile have @vauxhallengland which has been highly active and looking to engage with football fans.

hyundai v vauxhall


The Outsider

One that people didn’t expect to come to the fore as it did was Beats By Dre. They launched their fantastic “Game Before The Game” video with Neymar, Fabregas, Sturridge and many more World Cup stars featuring in it. It certainly made an impact but has seen mentions taper off in recent days and the hashtag #GameBeforeTheGame has not really caught on with the public.

Beats By Dre


And Finally…

With the event almost upon us after month’s, if not years, of anticipation you can see that people are talking about it much more now that it is within site. Teams have finished their preparations, their have been the anticipated protests and upscaling of the articles about Qatar in 2022. This has all led to a significant increase in mentions of #WorldCup, #WorldCup2014 and #FIFA (far more mentions of FIFA by hashtag than account is maybe something they should look at).

FIFA World Cup twitter


Enjoy the World Cup everyone. We’ll be keeping an eye on Twitter (and other platforms) activity over the next month and report back all the interesting findings it throws up.


adidas launch live World Cup YouTube show, ‘The Dugout’

The picture is becoming clearer from one of the biggest sponsors of FIFA, who recently extended their deal until 2030, after the release of their recent TV ad… and now news of a brand new YouTube series. It presents a major shift for the sports brand as they go directly after World Cup broadcasters, stating that “the traditional press conference is no more..”!

The global sports manufactorer is going to be broadcasting live from Rio a series of exclusive programmes on the platform starting from the first day of the World Cup, June 12th. It’s a very similar move to that of Hyundai UK who teamed up with YouTube backed football channel Copa90 earlier in the year, though with a different emphasis. adidas have got together with Kick TV, the US equivalents of Copa90, which is part of MLS Digital for this one.

It will be hosted by Jimmy Conrad, Layla Anne-Lee and Hugh Wizzy and give fans the opportunity to take part in a virtual press conference incorporating live interviews with the likes of Cafu, Kaka and Lucas Moura, adidas product reviews, behind-the-scenes action with adidas sponsored teams and chances to win prizes.

It’s another part of the adidas sponsorship plan that has been over 2 years in the making. London-based social media agency We Are Social will have been closely involved in the strategy and will I’m sure be on-site working long shifts to make this the best campaign ever.

Senior PR Manager (adidas Football), Rob Hughes, someone I knew well from my time at WAS (disclosure: I used to work on the adidas account at WAS), has said;

“The Dugout is a very exciting concept for Adidas, bringing together the best of Adidas talent with the reach of YouTube. The broadcasts will allow all football fans around the world to participate in the global conversation surrounding the Fifa World Cup. This youth-magazine-style football show will be fans’ inside view into the tournament, showcasing Brazil at its best with many famous faces and will be a must-watch throughout the competition,”

The first show is being aired at 2.00pm BST (10.00am BRT) and there will be 6 in total as part of the #AllInOrNothing campaign that has been intriguing commentators around the world since its launch. The final show will be on the eve of the World Cup Final. You’ll be able to watch it on the adidas Football YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuAPWG5e8lQ&feature=share

“The streaming of live adidas shows from Brazil is a unique brand proposition and a great example of a strategic partnership creating new, engaging and innovative content to a relevant audience. Our partnership with adidas has already seen us work together on many elements of their World Cup campaign, and these broadcasts will position adidas and YouTube at the heart of the conversation around this summer’s tournament. We are delighted that the World Cup’s number one partner, adidas, has chosen YouTube to play such a central role in their World Cup campaign.” – Lucas Watson, VP, Global Brand Solutions at YouTube.

It’s another different approach we’ve seen in recent weeks, but not so different from what Hyundai have put together. It is is though an example of a brand directly taking on traditional broadcasters as they make use of their access to players, coaches and other World Cup content. They’re also working with an already established YouTube channel in Kick TV and thus will be tapping into their audience. The start of a new trend?

Add to that the expected big spend using YouTube TrueView and they’re be looking to get the attention of every football fan out there. I also expect to see and really tight and well executed social media plan that will bring others into the conversation.

Will you be tuning in?


My Top 5 World Cup Digital Trends

At our latest Digital Sport London event I spent the opening part of the night speaking about what a few of the brands are up to as we approach the World Cup. It’s an area that always fills up a lot of column inches within the trade press and this year is no different.

One thing that is apparent though is the lack of hype this year. The England team is not expected to do so well and maybe this is reflected in the size of the push and innovation by brands. Marketing Week have brought this up in their article, that beyond the traditional sponsors there is a lack of action – which ultimately may be a missed opportunity.

When going through the activations that we’ve seen from the likes of adidas, Nike, Sony, McDonalds, Coca Cola and Hyundai there were some themes that started to become clear.


The likes of adidas, Budweiser, Johnson & Johnson and Volkswagon have all signalled their intent to make sure they don’t miss a single opportunity. As we’ve seen from the previous couple of Superbowls there is a shift towards brands setting up these ‘newsrooms’ where they exploit the World Cup’s memorable moments (both good and bad) and compete directly with broadcasters for fan’s attention.

The advantage of setting up these teams is that all the decision makers and ‘doers’ are together and can create and approve content in near real-time. Thus delivering something entertaining or useful to fans when they are in a prime state to consume it.  How well it will work and how they will tap into the different nations taking part will be interesting.


This does follow on, and overlap somewhat, with what we’ve already been discussing. But what we’ve seen this year is a move away from traditional forms of advertising and fan engagement to tapping into channels that already have that audience in place.  This is best shown by a couple of relationships that have already been working away.

The main one here in the UK is Hyundai’s relationship with Copa90, one of YouTube’s original funded channels in Europe and has an established audience of almost 700,000 subscribers. They have been producing a series of films in Brazil and offered a fan a chance to head to the World Cup.  During the tournament, as Simon Joyce (Hyundai UK sponsorship manager) shared with us at this week’s event, they will be involved with a number of films that bring together different presenters from the channel. It’s certainly going to offer something different.

Budweiser is the other sponsor that has taken a similar route. Their partnership with Fox Sports and Vice  for their “Rise as One” campaign includes two web series which has been part of a global push. Both of these partnerships show that brands are starting to look beyond traditional solutions to offer something different to fans.

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The last World Cup, and everything from Champions League Finals to the Sochi Winter Olympics, have been dominated by Twitter. It has become the place for brands to go to speak directly to fans in an authentic way. Because of the way the platform has worked, it has been easy to show of your content (unfiltered) and for the platform to showcase that content, the results and share updates. The record for Tweets per Second is broken with every new event and is easy to PR.

We’ve seen in recent months moves from Facebook to move in on Twitter’s territory though. Their partnership with CNN to create the CNN Facebook Pulse, a digital dashboard that sits on CNN.com is a big call out to their main rival. We’ve seen tweet maps, trending topics and much more from Twitter – now they’ll be competing to host the same conversations. Will fans just use both? Will it make any difference? and will brands choose now to head to Facebook over Twitter for the World Cup?


In a move that some have seen as potentially a show of arrogance by adidas, it’s safe to say their new “All In or Nothing” campaign is certainly different. It gives fans the choice to receive all of adidas’ World Cup communications…. or opting out and receiving nothing. Basically blocking all the comms.

“If consumers decide against joining adidas and its FIFA World Cup communications, adidas is happy to let them leave the team as it focuses on quality over quantity in its social media audience,” the company said.

It could be seen as a brave move but what is obvious is that they are going for brand advocates, those who love the brand, rather than passing audiences who require a lot of investment for potentially little return. ‘Rewarding’ fans with great content that they will hope is shared by them and creating an air of exclusivity could work. Though the numbers of fans/conversations may be reduced, if the bottom-line £ increases then it will be seen as a success.

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Once again there is a lot of overlap in this one a couple that have already been talked about. But it is worth mentioning on its own merits. Match footage has a short shelf life and if you rely on it as your main campaign content you’re going to be competing with thousands of others for the same space.

What will set brands (and broadcasters) apart is how they tell the story of the event, those playing and how the brand fits into that story. The likes of Budweiser and Hyundai have already started that with their relationships mentioned earlier but others still have time to get this right. Brazil is famous for its passion for football and there are many stories to be told around what makes this such a special event. If the brand can seamlessly fit into this (or just provide the platform) then they can make a big impact.


Have we covered everything in here? By no means. Other sites such as The Drum and Econsultancy have their say in recent days as to how brands could best seize upon this once-every-four-years opportunity. We haven’t even touched upon social hubs (Sony and FIFA have both launched their own) and second screening, which every brand and broadcaster will be looking to best serve.

Which brands do you think have nailed this World Cup the best so far on digital?


How Important is it for Sports Brands to be ‘Reactive’ on Social Media?

Guest Post: Krishan Majithia is a Social Media Executive at sports social media agency We Play. He is an FA level 2 qualified coach at Headstone Manor as well as being the brains behind ‘Tactical Sunder‘. Follow him at @krishm91

The age of social media has allowed brands to become closer to ‘real time’ conversations, giving them direct access to a world-wide consumer base. Real time Social Media sites such as Twitter allow brands to engage with fans and potential customers by joining in conversations about sport and reacting to events when they happen.

Of course, this access has cast forward the importance of hiring experts to manage social media activity, as mistakes can have immediate consequences, which become the subject of public humiliation and social media can quickly go from a brand’s most useful marketing tool, to its ultimate downfall.

The dynamism of social media and the vast number of platforms from which it can be accessed, means that fans and consumers expect more than basic advertising content from brands. The real-time nature of social media means that these brands can communicate and share innovative messages (at the click of a button) within relevant ‘hype-circles’.

When a technical error meant that only four Olympic rings showed up during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, an advert supposedly from Audi emerged with the tagline “When four rings is all you need”. As it turned out the advert, which can be seen below was not real, however, this was the epitome of ‘reactive advertising’ and was shared 1000’s of times with calls by Audi fans for it to be made into an official Audi advert.


Another slightly different example was after Andy Murray won the ‘Sports Personality of the Year Award’ in December, his sponsors- Adidas- took the opportunity to poke fun at the Tennis superstar, using the combined hype of the award trending on Twitter, with a bold, yet tongue-in-cheek tweet to advertise the adidas brand, stating that his achievement was “Not bad for a man with no personality”.


This was likely not strictly reactive, but was created weeks before the award on the chance of the Scotsman won. However, it was released at an opportune time, providing a humorous alternative to the saturated messages of congratulations that were lost amongst the trending topic on Twitter, something that is key to implementing reactive adverts.

This idea of using humour is one of the most popular uses of reactive marketing and provides a key platform for making your brand’s message stand out. Arguably, such a policy is even more useful when used off the back of a seemingly negative event, such as Oreo’s ‘Dunk in the Dark’ tweet after the blackout in last years Superbowl, or Specsavers clever connection between the North and South Korean flags being mixed up during the Olympics, and their “Should have gone to Specsavers” slogan.

It is often consumer goods brands, such as the two above that use sporting events as a catalyst to launch reactive advertising, so why should it not be the same for sports brands?

Dunk in the dark

What can be learnt? 

Sports is arguably one of the toughest industries within which to operate, due to the high level of brand loyalty. This is especially true for sports clubs, who may take the approach of stronger engagement with fans, rather than traditional advertising techniques. After all, somebody is not going to simply change the sports team they support, just because of an impressive marketing campaign.

However, even sports clubs can use a form of reactive advertising. Last week, Everton were the talk of social media after inviting Malaysian fan, Ric Wee (who had come to watch the Toffees for the first time) to meet the players and coaching staff after their match against Crystal Palace was called off. The story went viral, with fans of all teams congratulating the club for showing their human side.

There is of course a lot that all football clubs do behind the scenes that does not necessarily gain the same notoriety, so what made this particular story go viral? Fans saw this story unfolding in real time and the club reacted within minutes to find Mr. Wee. It was spur of the moment, and that made it special. This will not only bring the existing fans closer to the club, but from a business point of view, could also help to attract both new fans in emerging countries, as well as sponsorship opportunities from companies who see the club trending on social media.

The key for sports brands utilising reactive advertising is to be aware of what is going on in the world. Whilst it is important to have a pro-active rather than reactive strategy for every day social media engagement, brands should not allow themselves to switch off and miss the opportunity to strike advertising gold when something out of the ordinary occurs.


adidas kick start the battle of the brands ahead of FIFA World Cup draw

It’s the biggest, most anticipated day ahead of the actual World Cup kick-off.  Today is the World Cup draw when players, managers and fans get to find out who their nation will be playing against next year.

At the start of the week Nike launched their new video “Dare to be Brasilian“, celebrating the Brazil team.  The biggest asset they have in the World Cup, team wise at least.

2 days ago adidas showed us what they have been carefully working on for the past couple of years.  The brands sponsorship centres mainly around the sponsorship of the official FIFA World Cup match ball.  This tied in with their numerous teams (Germany, Spain, etc) and players gives them the tools which they can utilise in different ways.

So 2 days ago they launched a brand new Twitter account, @Brazuca.  This, as you may have heard, is the name of the official ball.  Yes, they have launched a Twitter account for the official match ball with updates from the balls point of view.  Certainly a different tact but one we have seen done on a much more informal/parody basis.  But on an official basis it must be one of the first.

Now, with the draw only a matter of minutes away (or more likely, has taken place by the time you read this – please give England a decent draw, we need it!), they have also launched a bespoke interactive 360 degree YouTube spot.  You can see the video unfold and at certain points see how it looks from the balls perspective.  Again, it’s all about being the ball.

It includes the great players you would expect including Xavi and Bastian Schweinsteiger.  It’s an interesting video that’s certainly all about the interactivity and hidden content.  You can check it out by visiting http://www.youtube.com/user/adidasfootballtv.

adidas football youtube

As you can see it’s already been viewed over 600,000 times and gives you a multitude of options within it.  At the bottom you can see the timeline which lets you know when interactive moments are embedded within it.  You can also see whereabouts on the pitch the ball is by clicking on the pitch in the top left plus change the language you want to listen to it in.

This is just the start of what is going to be a massive battle between the two old enemies at the most social, interactive and shareable World Cup there has ever been.  We haven’t been able to get any more details/comment from adidas or their social media agency We Are Social yet but will update this article once we do.


adidas Tennis test Vine for Djokovic campaign

We’ve seen a number of clubs and brand’s test out Twitter’s short-form video capture/sharing tool Vine over the past few months.  Some have used it to reveal players they have signed and others to capture moments during a game that can quickly be shared.

Now adidas Tennis, who I used to work with during my time at We Are Social, have been looking at ways in which to tease out their new campaign.  The basis from it was a video that gives an insight into the training regime of World number 1, Novak Djokovic, with ‘Performance meets Personality‘.

Twitter recently published the results of an experiment they worked on the MLB over in the States.  It was based around live-tweeting but gave an interesting insight into the sharability of Vine videos compared to other types of content.  It revealed that across all other measures of engagement, Vine videos dramatically increased the ways that followers interacted with a team. The overall impact was that Vines got:

  • 2.3x more retweets than average
  • 1.7x more follower growth
  • 1.8x more mentions
  • 2.1x more favorites

People tweeted more often when the teams posted Vine videos than when they used any of the other live-tweeting strategies — a nearly 5% increase compared to the control sample.

For a brand, the platform represents a different way in which to take snippets of content ahead of a bigger launch.  Could this have the same traction and create the same effect as when it’s used for live-tweeting?  It was tested out with 3 Vines ahead of the video reveal and collectively they gained over 1,000 RT’s and almost the same in favourites – not bad for an account of 40k followers.

The video itself has received around 35k views which, for a video from one of the worlds biggest sports brands and featuring a player with a massive personality and almost as big social media presence (2.3m on Twitter), is a little smaller than am sure was hoped.  It shows that people when it comes to sharing and consuming short form content are a lot happier to do it than in full on an external site such as YouTube.

It also shows the power of engaging with the sports player and involving them in the promotion.  When they have such power on social networks (and in the media generally) then they can push a campaign far more than the brand can on its own.  It’s an interesting campaign by adidas Tennis and their Vine video’s look much better (more professional) then most we have seen.  Am sure we’ll see more from adidas and other brands as the testing and app updates take place over the coming months.


Can you kick it like Bale? adidas helps you find out

Stepping away a bit today from traditional social media, if that’s possible, to a new iPhone app that has been catching people’s attention today.  It helps answer the debate about how hard you can really kick a ball and how well you can do it.

At a recent adidas event I went to (see adidas innovation lab) the most fun was participating in a few games that had been set up.  We got to test our, rather debatable, skills in how quick we we could sprint and how hard we could kick a ball.  It enters that realm of the human psyche that enjoys both competition and the ability to test ourselves.  Are you really as good as you thought you were?

I actually surprised myself with the pace of my shooting, just over 50mph, and general fitness.  Wasn’t bad for someone who has let the exercise regime slip  and not kicked a ball since mid-2012.  Now I’m tempted to get back into the nearest field with a ball with a ball at my feet  and try it out again.

The app itself has been launched using the man-of-the-moment Gareth Bale.  The video below shows him giving it a try and recording a speed of 78mph, flight of 37m and angle of 4 – not bad I suppose.  Players can keep record of all kicks in a Library section, track their best achievements and score history or compare their shots with the world’s best players led by Gareth Bale.

Features of the app include real time and super slow-motion video playback and visual effects. The app allows photos and videos of shots to be uploaded to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and then players can challenge their friends for the highest score and achievements.

Bob Kirk, Senior Development Engineer, adidas innovation team said;

“We are very excited by the launch of Snapshot, a cutting edge smartphone app which will help fans with the analysis and improvement of their own game. Some of our leading players have already enjoyed using the app and it keeps adidas at the forefront of innovation and technology in football.”

The app is available in 18 languages and downloadable on the iPhone and iPod touch from The App Store.

Be great to find out what you guys think about it and what scores you get.  Put them in the comments below!

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Andy Murray dominates Wimbledon and Twitter

It was a historic weekend for British sport in what could be described as a golden era.  With London 2012 having given us fans so many perfect moments we wondered if could ever be repeated.

The British & Irish Lions defeated the Aussie’s down under, providing the team with a first tour win in 14 years.  Then Andy Murray stepped up to take his place in sporting folklore. Could he win the Wimbledon title after having reached his second final in succession?  Oh ye of little faith, of course he could!

We all know how it came about after having watched the match, re-watched the highlights and read the countless reams of coverage in the press.  But it was on Twitter that the conversation was taking place at the time, the rest of the coverage was catch up and reflection.

During one 12 hour period on Twitter, Wimbledon was mentioned an astonishing 3.4 million times.  The peak in mentions of the match happened at 17.25 BST with 120,000 tweets per minute recorded.  This eclipsed the 117,601 recorded when the final whistle blew in May to signal Bayern Munich as the 2013 UEFA Champions League winners.

Murray Mentions

Overall there were more than 5 million tweets and Andy was mentioned almost 1 million times, the majority of which were in the last day (obviously).  The others who made up the top 5 in terms of mentions were; Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Laura Robson and Sabine Lisicki.

This shows that the story was not only about the winners but also those favourites who stumbled and fell when everyone thought they would easily triumph.  This was certainly the case for Serena Williams.  The other notables were of course Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova.

ESPN courtcast

(ESPN Courtcast)

Top tweet of the day has to go to the man of the moment.  His first tweet after winning the title has been retweeted 89k times and favourited almost as much, 68k.  It was short and simple, summing up what he, and the rest of the country, was thinking…

His main sponsor, adidas, has been very busy throughout the tournament.  With some great looking graphics and an interesting competition running for the whole 2 weeks the #hitthewinner competition certainly hit the mark.

The sportswear giant gave fans the chance to win a t-shirt every time he hit a winner.  This nice image gives some clear instructions on how fans could take part.

To follow this up, they have announced to Murray fans that they also have the chance to #hitthewinner against the man himself.  It’s great timing with the Wimbledon Champion the hottest property in the country at the moment.  Fans can get down to Kennington (near our Pulse Office – but sadly am in Basingstoke today) with the first there getting to have a crack.

The brand also benefitted with the association with Andy.  Over the last week there been obvious peaks in mentions as they ran the competition during matches and celebrated with images of the great man.  At the peak they received over 3k mentions and 54k mentions over the last week for @adidasUK, even more for the adidas brand as a whole (147k).

adidas andy murray

The most reactive tweet, just after the winning shot had been made received over 3k retweets, showing once again the importance of having a simple bespoke image that is used at exactly the right moment.  People at that point want to share something that they want to say themselves but dont have the means.  adidas provided them with this and it was shared many times.

From all of us here at UKSN – Congratulations Andy Murray.  Wimbledon Champion 2013!!


‘The Future of Football’ [video]

A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to be invited along to the UCL Champions League event being run by adidas at Vistoria House, London.  It was a great event where we have the opportunity to try out the latest boots, test our shooting and running and also sit in on an interesting panel session on the future of football (see previous write up)

On the panel were some big names from digital sport and was hosted by Marcus Speller (The Football Ramble). It 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.

You can check out more from the event and the panel session itself in this video that adidas have recently made available.  Thanks to the guys at We Are Social for putting together the event and making such a top day.

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Here are some great quotes from the panel that I’m sure you’ll find fascinating…

On the future of broadcasting:

Steve Nuttall (Google):

“There’s a terminology issue that we have to deal with because I’m not really sure what ‘broadcaster’ means anymore. It’s now possible for so many more people to tell stories than it used to be.”

On the second screen:

Leigh Moore (BT Sport):

“Social media, first and foremost, is about connecting people with people, and the more we can do that and the more that we are allowing people to have better conversations with each other around a sports product, the better that’s got to be for fans.”

On data in football:

Tom Ramsden (adidas):

“I think people are crying out for a new level of insight and a kind of reinvention in many ways. miCoach and the Elite Team System is a perfect example of that, where we could potentially deliver real time physiological data to people, a completely new way to experience the game. I think football demands it, consumers demand it, and the rate of progression is really starting to pick up.”

“We all like football because it’s football, not because it’s maths, and the idea behind driving innovation is to make the game better and help athletes perform better. It’s not data or innovation for innovation’s sake.”

“Data’s nothing without context and insight and if you’re not delivering both of those around it, then it’s useless.”

“We’re still at the tip of the iceberg, we’re nowhere in comparison to what we have available, but actually who’s bringing value to the new insight and new levels? That will come through things like miCoach and through, in the future, saying that, ‘he’s just controlled the ball the greatest way anybody’s controlled a ball,’ and we can statistically prove that.”

On trends and consumer demand:

Nick Chiarelli (Future Foundation):

“One of the things is a sort of fragmentation of the content piece into constituent parts that people can dip into and dip out of. So you’ve got your picture, you’ve got your official commentary, you’ve got reams and reams of unofficial commentary supporters. It’s almost piecemeal and patchwork, pulling together their own ideal, putting together this jigsaw puzzle of content which is uniquely tailored to them, and potentially takes crowd noise from a particular part of the ground that they may sit in when they go.”

“Longer term there are concepts we’ve developed for zonal TVing, where you’ve got your main piece which is the game, and then all of these discretionary areas in the screen where you’ve got your Twitter feed, you’ve got your local pizza delivery place, for example, you’ve got your fantasy football team being constantly updated with whoever just scored a goal and the impact on your team, and there’s a lot of fun you can have with that.”

On the value of storytelling:

Steve Nuttall (Google):

“I think the power is in the hands of the consumer because of the advances in technology and the fact is it is now possible for five teenagers in a bedroom in Queensland to create a 30-second video, stick a house music track on it, upload it to YouTube, and a couple of weeks later there were 14,000 videos a day being posted to YouTube that emulated the video that they created. It was something called the Harlem Shake. Anyone can tell stories.”

“Technological advances in the internet make it possible to tell stories that were never known before.”

On football-related content and the importance of context:

Tom Ramsden (adidas):
“The challenge for us as an authentic football brand, whether it’s talking about all of the exact details of Leo Messi’s boots or saying ‘Well, here’s what he did last weekend, here’s what he had for breakfast this morning,” is how do we become part of a seamless experience in serving up the right level of football content?”

Richard Welsh (Copa90):
“Google Glass is an amazing piece of technology but ultimately it will be validated by what it gets used for. Imagine Lionel Messi has a pair and you could see him in training or on the pitch and it’s that intimacy…I think everyone would want to see what it’s like to be Lionel Messi scoring that goal in that match. It’s how these amazing industries will knit together to create new stories and new experiences.”

“We’re working with stuff at the moment where content is triggered from the TV series through audio triggers and sound waves, so it’s not something that’s interrupting the experience, it’s just making content fluid across different platforms.”


adidas lab showcases the ‘future of football’

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:

YouTube Preview Image

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.