This weekend is going to be a special one here in London. With the UEFA Champions League Final being hosted in our capital for the second time in three years it going to be party time once again. Now we don’t run competitions very often on here but for this we thought we’d make an exception.
We’ve teamed up with adidas to offer something very special indeed for anyone in London this weekend. adidas will be showcasing and looking ahead at the ‘Future of Football’ with their adidas lab (#adidaslab). The lab will give a sneaky look at adidas products of the past, present & future. It will give consumers a glimpse into how football might look in the next six months, year and beyond. You’ll be able to test unseen products first-hand in a series of high-tech football experiences featuring real-time data visualisation – all at this behind-closed-doors event in London this weekend.
We’ve got 12 pairs of tickets for the adidas Labs on Saturday 25th May between 11.30am and 1.00pm and we want you guys to come along. To enter, post a comment at the bottom of this post to say why you want to go and you’ll be in with a chance of winning this money-can’t-buy prize. We’ll be in touch to let you know if you are going!
You have to be 18 or over and resident here in the UK and must be able to make it to the event on Saturday. There is no travel as part of the prize, only entry to the event.
One of the issues many brands face is how to activate sponsorship deals, and this becomes even harder when it comes to those involving ‘smaller teams’. adidas are one of those mega-brands who have many kit sponsorship deals both here in the UK and abroad.
So when one of these teams reaches a cup final, ableit the FA Trophy Final – a competition which is run for non-league teams in England (and English affiliated Welsh clubs) – it is something worth covering and hopefully celebrating. The adidas team in question was Wrexham Town who currently sit 3rd in the Blue Square Bet Premier, battling for promotion back to the Football League.
Usually this would float under the radar and there may be a congratulatory message on Facebook or an advert in the local paper. But not this year. The UK team worked with the club to gain unprecedented access to the squad as they prepared for their big day out at Wembley.
To show how #allin the brand is they brought fans insights to how the day unfolded through quick updates with some lovely pictures attached to them. Usually you would expect to see some phone pics being used, but it was nice to see this not being the case here. All the pictures are really high quality and give something extra to the fan.
I’ve taken some screen grabs from the weekends action to give you a flavour of how it unfolded. Well done to the adidas UK team on both the quality of the updates and for highlighting to their almost 200k followers their affiliation to one of the forgotten clubs of football in the UK.
Its been a great year for Welsh teams with Wrexham in the FA Trophy and of course Swansea winning the Capital One Cup, both firsts for Welsh football. And both adidas teams….coincidence?!
The company I have worked closely with for the past few years has a really great job their looking to fill. Closing date is 1st April so get your application forms in now!!
They currently have a vacancy for a Social Media Manager within our Brand Marketing department. In this position you will report to the Senior Digital Communications Manager and will hold ultimate responsibility for the following duties/tasks;
Build and manage the social media strategy for adidas UK, ensuring that it is aligned to the adidas global plan.
Develop, enhance and maximise our owned channels, developing plans and strategies that maximise our partners / assets social networks.
Work with Internal stakeholders to develop our earned channels across digital.
Create social content to support social across Brand campaigns, weekly focuses and daily conversation.
Moderate conversations with the brand and consumers on social media.
Be the voice of the brand on all our channels, ensuring two way conversation with our consumers.
Effectively report and analysis all activity, report these results back into the business.
Present plans and provide all necessary sales support material to ensure an effective sell-in process at each quarterly launch
Lead on all industry and technology insight across social media and provide competitor brand analysis.
Work with international counterparts to influence the global tools to suit the UK and Irish market.
Liaise externally with agencies to augment / adapt / create marketing materials. Work with these agencies to provide advice on all digital media spends.
Guest Post: Andreas Plastiras, blogger with Snap-Shot Sport and social media analyst.
What a summer of sport it has been for Britain. The Olympics were widely regarded as one of the best in history, and the outstanding performance of Team GB resulted in 65 medals in total (29 of which were gold). Great Britain’s chef de mission, Andy Hunt summed it up perfectly when he told the BBC “This is our greatest performance of our greatest team at the greatest Olympics ever.”
Yet, for me, the greatest British sporting moment of this year arrived just last week, on the Arthur Ashe stadium in New York at approximately 2:00am GMT on Monday 10th September, when Andy Murray outlasted great friend and rival Novak Djokovic to win his maiden Grand Slam title.
I am sure that when Murray ends his career – hopefully with many more Grand Slam titles to his name – he will look back at this summer and regard it as the most pivotal of his career. Indifferent public opinion of the 25 year old Scot changed for the better after a teary conclusion to his match with the great Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, before winning Olympic Gold by beating the same opponent three weeks later, again at Wimbledon, confirmed his own belief that he could compete at the very top level.
He now has a US Open championship to his name – the first man to achieve this award since Fred Perry – ironically on exactly the same day some 76 years ago. Upon reflecting on his success, I looked at how Murray’s first Slam win had been received on social media, and whether Murray himself had initiated conversations through his own social profiles.
Between September 10th-11th , mentions of Andy Murray’s Twitter profile (@Andy_Murray) or his name alone received 405,210 mentions, 78% of the total mentions (519,908) made from between August 23rd – September 14th. Included in this figure were a number of tweets from highly influential profiles, many of which congratulated Murray on his win.
Mentions were unprovoked considering that the last tweet posted by the man himself via his @Andy_Murray Twitter profile was made on June 9th, and were largely positive (14%) or neutral (82%) in sentiment. There may have been a missed opportunity here for Murray in not tweeting at any stage pre, during or post event to connect with his digital fan base on Twitter.
Whilst he accumulated over 29,000 new followers between the 10th-11th September (total folowers currently stands at 1,242,203), one wonders how much greater this figure could have been should he have been actively tweeting after his win. Perhaps a tweet featuring an image of himself lifting the trophy or expressing his excitement at sharing the moment with his two dogs Maggie May and Rusty? I’m just speculating, but you can be sure that the number of retweets, @Mentions, @Replies and followers on his profile would all have increased significantly further.
In contrast to his inactivity on Twitter, it was a very different story on his Facebook profile. Fourteen public posts related to his Slam win were created in just two days post event, with content varying from sponsor videos, media interview highlights and imagery of him holding the US Open trophy aloft. From the 10th-12th September, the page also accumulated 41,831 page ‘likes’, with the overall total currently standing at 829,099.
In terms of post engagement (likes+fans+shares/fans on the day) the most successful post (121,846 engagement score) featured Murray kissing the trophy. A simple post that did not need a description. The image captured the emotion and importance of the win to Murray and was posted shortly after his victory. There have been nearly 6,000 comments on that specific post, and the vast majority are overwhelmingly positive.
It is clear that Murray’s public perception has improved hugely over the course of the summer, and I believe that there lies an opportunity for him to grow his popularity still further by connecting with fans through his social platforms. He is doing so on Facebook and has done so on Twitter in the past and that is why I was slightly surprised not to see any tweets relating to his summer accomplishments.
Watching rugby these days, sports fans are likely to have more than just the remote in one hand and a cold beverage in the other. Making a regular appearance at match time are digital devices – laptops, smartphones, tablets…
This growing trend for “dual-screening” or “second-screening” has inspired adidas to build a cutting-edge Facebook site called adidas Game Day, where All Blacks fans can gather together virtually while they’re watching the match (or if they can’t get to a telly). It ran for the first time last Saturday night during the Bledisloe Cup test.
In the UK, new research by the Internet Advertising Bureau and ESPN has found that more than half (54 per cent) of football fans used a second digital device while watching this year’s UEFA Euro tournament matches on TV*. They were Tweeting, posting on Facebook, placing online bets, following live commentaries and blogs, tracking stats on smart phone apps, emailing fellow fans…
“adidas Game Day will provide serious All Blacks fans with an outlet for their dual-screening urges, on a Facebook app like no other,” says adidas Marketing Manager Nadia Scott. “It harnesses the power and reach of Facebook but it doesn’t look like your usual Facebook app. It’s really a conventional website within the Facebook framework, that capitalises on the site’s latest layout capabilities.”
adidas has developed the pioneering site in conjunction with Facebook. It has far more functionality than the standard Facebook pages for businesses, and a unique design custom-created for adidas. adidas Game Day has been developed by boutique Auckland web development company Tailor.
It will be the first home on the web in the world for rugby fans that will offer them the combination of:
• live commentary, including the views of All Blacks greats and other experts;
• a chance to discuss the game as it unfolds through live chat;
• up-to-the-minute game stats, equivalent to those provided to match commentators;
• All Blacks team profiles;
• player line ups for both the All Blacks and their competition, for each fixture;
• online voting on contentious decisions;
• a vote for the man of the match; and
• a link to buy official supporters gear.
The initial line-up of guest commentators is injured All Black Ali Williams, former All Black Andrew Blowers and rugby-mad broadcaster Nathan Rarere.
“adidas Game Day is an awesome place to get into the action,” says Ali Williams.
“If there’s one thing Kiwi rugby fans love, it’s having a good argument about an All Blacks game. It’s going to be a great new way to talk rugby, and I’m looking forward to hanging out there in the next few weeks. If I can’t get to the match, this will be the next best thing.” The app, at www.facebook.com/adidasrugby, will also be a hub for All Blacks fans between games, where they can dissect match stats, view fixtures and results, follow links to buy official All Blacks gear, and read and discuss match previews and news from the All Blacks.
In the launch phase, adidas Game Day will only work on computers and tablets viewed through the internet browser. More exciting pioneering functionality will be rolled out in future seasons, including a smartphone app. Details of these advances will be released closer to the time.
* Local stats for dual-screening aren’t available, but sports and entertainment consultancy Gemba New Zealand notes that during last year’s Rugby World Cup internet consumption of rugby union by New Zealanders increased almost four-fold.
Below are some screenshots from the app:
(Disclaimer: adidas Rugby is a client in my day job)
This is a new offering from Foot Locker and adidas featuring the social media superstar that is Snoop Dogg, a long time ambassador for the brand.
With over 10m fans on Twitter and 20m on Facebook, he is what ever brand wants to have on board. Companies are finding that the status of the ambassadors they bring in is not just about what they do in their respective industries but also what they offer within the social space.
Snoop is one of those who has a great brand of his own, fans love and has a massive audience he can promote to. The video is actually a part announcement as Snoop Dogg changes to become Snoop Lion! He says that he underwent a complete spiritual and physical rebirth during his staying in Jamaica and has even stated his intention devote the rest of his career to raggae, not calling himself a rapper anymore.
The ‘monster’ in the video is a giant dreadlocked lion and is the product of award-winning German director duo, Alex and Steffen.
Since its launch it has gone from 7,000 views (when I first watched it yesterday) to over 240,000 views now. Once it goes up on Snoops own pages you can expect that number to double and beyond.
There is also a chance for you to get involved and win a pair of the Space Diver shoes by entering a Twitter competition. You just have to say how being in the shoes will make you feel and include #inmyspacedivers to enter. Simples! Here is a screengrab with some more info…
Usain Bolt’s victory in Sunday night’s 100 meter final saw twitter reaction peak 33 seconds after his lightening 9.63 second Olympic victory with 2,360 tweets per second.
Tweets per minute peaked at 105,000 – four times the peak level witnessed during the opening ceremony according to Starcom MediaVest Group’s analysis using EchoScreen.
Bolt was the clear number one on Twitter as well as in the final itself, generating over 1.5 million tweets on Sunday evening versus 320,000 for Silver medalist Yohan Blake.
TeamGB’s extraordinary weekend was cheered all the way – on super Saturday alone the home team generated over 1.3m twitter name checks.
Jessica Ennis was the winner of all GB athletes on super Saturday with 293,000 tweets, but over the whole weekend it was Andy Murray who came out top with 829,000 compared to Ennis in second place with 346,000.
Today adidas announced the launch of their official Tumblr football profile which will see the world’s leading football brand use Tumblr’ sponsorship packages to showcase unique content from the world of football, on and off the pitch.
The new Tumblr profile will offer visitors an inspirational and unique look inside the world of adidas and its involvement in football. To mark the beginning of an exciting new football offering, adidas has teamed up with motion graphics editor Thiago Maia to create a launch video that gives viewers an early insight into what to expect from the site. The film features leading footballers from the past and the present, including Leo Messi, Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas, Franz Beckenbauer, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham.
The launch coincides with UEFA Euro 2012, where adidas will be working with a variety of talented content producers to create cutting edge visual content that showcases the real culture of football and adidas’s love of the game.
EURO 2012 is the immediate focus for the page, and adidas has sent out respected football blogger Laurence McKenna from EPL Talk to cover the tournament for and produce daily podcasts live from Krakow in Poland. But they have also sent across highly regarded Hypebeast Photographer Ravi Sidhu who will capture lifestyle focused photography – focusing on telling the story of the tournament through the eyes of the fans.
adidas are also part of a pilot project in conjunction with tumblr where they are trialing their latest advertising model, and are the very first brand to do so. The profile will be promoted through Tumblr’s new sponsorship opportunities, which allow brands to feature their posts in the Tumblr dashboard’s ‘Radar’ section, and take advantage of premium space in the Tumblr ‘Spotlight.’ adidas football’s Tumblr will be featured under the Sports ‘Spotlight’, and multiple posts will be highlighted in the ‘Radar’ during UEFA Euro 2012.
The tournament will also be presented through the latest visual techniques, creating high quality content that will be exclusive to the adidas Football Tumblr page. adidas has partnered with an up-and-coming film crew, The OMC, to capture the emotion and passion of the fan parks using innovative and under-used cameras to bring UEFA Euro2012 to life in a new way.
Alongside this new content, the adidas Football Tumblr page will celebrate the brand’s heritage in football. It will showcase the successes enjoyed by various adidas teams and players over the years, including defending champions Spain as they head into UEFA EURO 2012 to defend the title they won in 2008. The new Tumblr page will also be home to a striking range of photography of adidas products and specially commissioned artwork that demonstrates the products and the technology behind them in a new light.
Tom Ramsden, adidas Global Brand Marketing Director Football comments on the significance of the new partnership: “The partnership with Tumblr around UEFA Euro 2012 represents an exciting move for adidas Football as we start to communicate with fans in a new way, beyond typical football communications channels. We will use Tumblr to share unique content with fans; combining material from our vast footballing archive with fresh, new content produced in real time by a lineup of exciting, up and coming producers.”
Tumblr VP of Product Derek Gottfrid comments: ”We’re absolutely thrilled that adidas is doing such world-class creative storytelling on tumblr. adidas is building a rich and engaging site with spectacular visuals to express their truly deep passion for football. The live event coverage they have planned for UEFA Euro 2012 will be totally captivating to the international community of football fans. When a brand shares great creative content on Tumblr, our community is happy to follow along and amplify the messaging via reblog. This is the type of innovative marketing effort that we’re proud to be at the heart of, and we can’t wait to show it off in the Tumblr Radar and the Tumblr Spotlight.”
The adidas Football Tumblr page will continue to bring fans closer to the brand and the players they love beyond UEFA Euro 2012, beginning with the new European domestic season.
Last night saw Liverpool FC launch their new kit. Actually it was more than a new kit launch as it saw the dawn of a new era in terms of their kit with new manufacturers ’Warrior’ – a US company founded by a former Lacrosse player, acquired by sports giant New Balance in 2004.
This is their first foray into football with their specialism coming from lacrosse (obviously) and ice hockey. So it was always going to be important to shake off the shackles of previous incumbents adidas, who had been making the kits since 2006, by making the first kit launch an impressive one.
So, aside from the usual press release and pictures, what did they do in the social media space? Here is what Paul Rogers, LFC’s Head of Content and long-term friend of the site, told UKSN (there are more quotes throughout the article too);
“When we sat down to work out our content plan around the ‘reveal’ of the new LFC kit, social media was at the forefront of our thinking. We know from past experience that kit reveals generate enormous excitement amongst fans and we wanted to reach out to and engage with as many supporters as possible when the clock struck midnight.
With our last kit launch in the summer of 2011, we used our own official website, TV channel, Twitter and Facebook accounts to create a buzz but even in 12 months, things have moved on a lot. This time around, we were keen to maximise the reach of all of our social media channels including our new YouTube channel as well as Pinterest and Tumblr”
The club and Warrior launched the usual video to accompany the launch showing some behind the scenes shots of the photo shoot, interviews/quotes from players and pictures of the new kit. The players appear to be happy with it (no surprise there) as it brings back the gold into the kit so its a bit of a throwback to the 1970′s/1980′s in that sense. It also appeals to the die-hard fans with a tribute to the 96 fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough Distaster in 1989 with the inclusion of the number on the back of the shirt.
Interestingly in the video it shows an integration with a bigger campaign by the inclusion of the #LFCkit tag, encouraging fans to talk about it on twitter and talk to other fans. So far the video has gained 61k views since its launch at midnight last night.
The new kit sponsors also released their own video showcasing their ‘expect us’ activation today as the push to link the club and brand starts with a vengeance. It is pretty cool and offered a teaser to the fans as they walked past the ground by projecting images of the players and the brand tag line onto a wall. With £25m a year being paid to the club we can expect much more of this with a hefty marketing spend to back it up.
The #LFCkit tag has been used many times and was reported to have trended in Liverpool after the midnight kit launch, showing fans were anxious to show their feelings (mostly good) about the kit. It’s always a sensitive time for clubs when it comes to such a major change in design, as has been shown recently by Cardiff City’s plans to change from blue to red (something that was retracted after the predictable fan outrage).
As of 9am this morning there had been some 12,972 tweets using the hashtag. Something that will taken as great success by those involved. This was all before it had been picked up by the press or blogs so this number will increase significantly as news travels past the city walls of Liverpool. The club also posted a new image on their Twitter background which showed the kit and, once again, the #LFCkit hashtag. (stats below taken using MAP).
“We went big on a dedicated twitter hashtag #lfckit – which we promoted across multiple sites, not just on Twitter – and it worked very well as it was trending worldwide soon after midnight” said Paul.
As part of the clubs push onto new platforms, of which Pinterest has been a focal point for the last few months. The new launch was an ideal opportunity to make use of this highly visual platform with pictures from the launch event as well as the video being posted on their. This gives fans another of many touch points where they can find information about the kit as well as links to the club store.
“As the reveal of any new kit is a very visual experience, we changed our facebook Cover photo and Twitter background to showcase the new kit and used both Pinterest and Tumblr to showcase some amazing images of the players for fans to share.”
Finally, the club used their long established Facebook page to bring the imagery (and store links) to the fans. With just under 10m fans on the page the reach would have been pretty wide and with the late night timing of the launch, the majority of fans would be able to get their first taste of what they are going to see on the pitch in August when they checked their Facebook this morning.
The use of cover photo’s as a way of bringing a highly visual approach to campaigns is something we have already highlighted here but it also provides a picture that fans can upload and use as their own cover photo. Something a friend of mine did this morning. There was no big tease as we saw with Rangers but there was no shortage of likes, shares and comments on each post.
Last, but not least (though originally left off from this post! – ed) was the inclusion of the clubs Tumblr page to provide more visuals to those who have subscribed to their page in their news feed. The page is still quite new and it will certainly boost the number of people heading their page.
“On our website, we asked fans to mark the kit out of 10 – and so far we’ve had just short of 20,000 votes with a score of 10 coming out on top with 25% of the votes, with 74% of all fans voting for 7 or higher. To encourage engagement with fans, we’ve picked out 20 of the best tweets about the kit and embedded them in a news story on the official site – which lots of fans appreciate as fans all over the world can quickly follow them via the news story.”
The approach was that of hitting as many touch points as possible. At the end of the day it about raising awareness, gaining coverage and selling kit (at the moment through pre-orders). It has not been anything new or spectacular but shows good use of all the platforms at the same time, an integrated approach which proves that departments within the clubs – and the new sponsors – are talking to each other and working together as one. Something very simple but often not achieved.
“It’s been an exciting launch so far, created a great deal of excitement and we’re on target to break the record for the number of pre-order sales on day one. In terms of exclusive content, we’ve got loads more kit-related videos planned for the coming days and weeks.”
AC Milan linked up with sponsors adidas to promote the fact that they have managed to break the 10m fan barrier on the official Facebook page. For a global brand such as the most famous club in Italy it was only going to be a matter of time till they grew in such numbers – though still well behind Barcelona (30m), Real Madrid (27m) and Man United (26m).
It has been a pretty low key affair with no promotional video or massive digital campaign launched, what they have done is incorporate their players and give fans the chance to be part of it. Interestingly they have also turned it into a revenue generator!
The players were photographed at the training ground donning the new Facebook ‘are you in?’ t-shirt that has been produced by the main kit suppliers adidas (disclosure – adidas are a client). This links into the ‘are you in?’ campaign which has been going on for the last year.
The revenue side of it is that they are giving fans the option to buy one of the t-shirts on their e-commerce site for €12.00. A way of turning those 10m fans into customers, which is something that is proving to be challenge for clubs on social media. (I’m going to be speaking on Social CRM ‘converting fans into customers’ at the Sports CRM Summit later this month – more on this to come soon).
The players signed some of the tops and then wore the t-shirts whilst posing for photos. They also changed the cover photo on their page to promote the celebration. Timelines are becoming an easier way for clubs to provide visually great content as more clubs and brands use them in new ways.