Tag Archives: nike

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

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 11.19.40

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.


Nike takes gamification to the next level with NikeFuel Missions

Another post about Nike but they have been making more moves when it comes to what they are doing next with Nike+ and FuelBands.  In a release made just before Christmas they have really gone for the jugular when it comes to gamification.

Since the FuelBand was released this time last year, to great fanfare, they have been adding new features to keep consumers hooked.  The gamifying of everyday activities is something that has been around us for a couple of years and been done with varying degrees of success.  Our pals at We Play have written a series on gamification (in case you are interested and like to find out more).

Back to Nike – the game is powered by the user’s everyday movement and uses NikeFuel to track and monitor progress. Based on the difficulty level that the user chooses, they’re challenged to earn a specific amount of NikeFuel to move to the next level. Each mission and level is played against the clock and utilizes any device that collects NikeFuel, including the Nike+ FuelBand.

During each mission the user meets a Nike athlete — Calvin Johnson, Allyson Felix, Alex Morgan or Neymar Jr. — who provides advice and suggests innovative products to help the player battle the elements and get to the next mission.

After each mission, users can sync the Nike+ device to track their progress. If they haven’t reached their goal, they can replay the mission.

NikeFuel Missions is available to play now at www.nike.com/missions

Here is a typically cool Nike video to go along with the launch…

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Nike takes Social Media in-house

Nike has taken management of its social media marketing in-house and away from its digital advertising agencies in an effort to get closer to its fans.

The company’s internal social media teams will now manage all online communities from its Portland, Oregon headquarters after previously outsourcing the responsibility to agencies such as AKQA, Wieden & Kennedy, Mindshare and R/GA.

It follows a review by Nike’s senior director for social media and community Musa Tariq who pushed for the brand to assume full control of its social media offering following his arrival from Burberry last October.

The move, which is thought to taken place in November, is part of a broader effort from the business to gain a deeper understanding as to how its consumers interact with the brand on its owned social networks such as Nike Plus as well as on third party platforms.

Rival sports brands are also looking at effective ways to gain a more detailed understanding of their social media fanbase. Puma is working with an agency to reach young football fans on Twitter and Facebook, while Reebok has opted to conduct its own audit of all its social media profiles after declining offers from agencies.

Digital marketing experts observe that the role of agencies in managing social media is changing as marketers become more comfortable with developing their own strategies.

Roger Warner, director at social media agency Beyond, says: “Three years ago most brands didn’t really have a clear understanding of the impact social media would have on internal resources or their marketing strategies. Fast-forward and there are now roles in marketing departments focused solely on sharing and publishing content all the time. The smarter agencies have figured out that their value in the mix is on the idea rather than the day-to-day community management.”

Nike is putting more marketing muscle behind its digital initiatives, claiming that online channels are more valuable to its business strategy than traditional advertising. In the US alone, Nike has reduced spend on television and print advertisements by 40 per cent over the last three years, while its global marketing budget has steadily risen over the same period as the brand invests more in digital initiatives.

Nike declined to comment on the move. A spokesman for the business adds: “We never comment on speculation about our future plans so we won’t be able to confirm or deny.”

Article from Marketing Week

What does the ASA ruling on Rooney / Wilshere Tweets mean?

Opening a can of worms is one way to describe what the ASA ruling has done to the digital marketing industry.

This article will look at what happened and why.  It is important to look at how this affects the rest of us and what we can learn from it.

Many opinions have been voiced, all of which have very valid points on the rights and wrongs of the ruling but before we go into any more depth, here is a summary of what happened;

Two tweets for Nike were posted in January on Twitter from the official accounts of Jack Wilshire and Wayne Rooney.

  • Rooney:  “My resolution – to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion….#makeitcount. gonike.me/makeitcount”
  • Wilshire: “In 2012, I will come back for my club – and be ready for my country. #makeitcount. gonike.me/makeitcount”

A single (yes one) complaint was received by the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) who, since April this year, have extended powers that cover company websites and other non-paid for spaces they control.

Nike put forward their defence as they, as many would agree, thought they had been operating within the guidelines.  The main points were;

  • Both players are well known for being sponsored by the company, as are the teams they play for
  • Ahead of the #makeitcount campaign they had spoken to both players to determine what their goals were for the year, both then tweeted about their pledges and linked to a video in which they appeared
  • The Nike URL was obvious within the body of the tweets, indicating the tweet’s purpose to direct followers to the Nike website

For more information on the ruling you can read it in full here http://www.asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2012/6/Nike-(UK)-Ltd/SHP_ADJ_183247.aspx

At the end of the judgement this is what the ASA had to say;

“The ASA understood that, as part of their sponsorship deal with Nike, the footballers were required to take part in marketing activities and that both were asked to submit their own ideas as to what to write as part of their tweet. We understood that the tweet’s final content was agreed with the help of a member of the Nike marketing team.

We considered the average Twitter user would follow a number of people on the site and they would receive a number of tweets throughout the day, which they may scroll through quickly. We noted the Code did not just require ads to be identifiable as marketing communications but that they must be obviously identifiable as such.

We noted the ad included a Nike URL which directed users to the Nike website and that it contained the hashtag, #makeitcount which referred to their new “make it count” campaign that launched around the same time the tweets appeared. However, we considered that the Nike reference was not prominent and could be missed, consumers would not have already been aware of Nike’s “#makeitcount” campaign and that not all Twitter users would be aware of the footballers’ and their teams’ sponsorship deal with Nike. We considered there was nothing obvious in the tweets to indicate they were Nike marketing communications. In the absence of such an indication, for example #ad, we considered the tweets were not obviously identifiable as Nike marketing communications and therefore concluded they breached the Code.”

What is important to note is that even though there was knowledge that a player has an association with a brand, it does not mean they can post an advertorial message with the assumption that the fan understands this.

It is obviously a massively grey area for all those involved and the lack of clarity from the bodies involved does not help the situation.  For the international readers of UKSN, this ruling and the ASA itself only have jurisdiction here in the UK, but it’s a good to take note as this could take affect in others areas in the future.

There have been comparisons drawn up with other sponsorship/marketing messages that we are subjected to on a daily basis.  For example, what is the difference between this and a golfer wearing a cap with a company logo on?  I think the main difference is the context in which it is done, or the ‘passive’ Vs ‘active’ advertising taking place.

Wearing logo’s is a good example of passive advertising with the placement of the logo or ad being obvious that it is a marketing message.  This could be a logo on a cap for example.

What would change this is if the athlete turned to the camera during a round and said ‘I love using XYZ clubs and would never use anything else!’.  This is where there is a grey area, and social media sits smack in the middle of it.  But when does passive become active and vice versa?

There is a need to make advertising easily identifiable and it already happens in other sectors.  The best example that springs to mind is when a company runs an editorial feature within a newspaper instead of a straight advert.  An advert is obvious in what it is and what it is intending to achieve.  An editorial advertisement is harder to spot as it is set up in much the same as the other news stories with the publication.

What sets it apart is that it has “Advertising Feature” in an obvious place, usually the top.  This means that the ‘average’ reader can easily spot that it is in fact written by the company and thus a paid for advert.

The ASA has recommended that in future, athletes (and celebrities/ambassadors) use a hashtag such as #ad or #sp in the copy of a message to make it obvious to fans what is a marketing message and what is not.  This would bring it into line as much of the traditional advertising industry.  But that does not mean it is as cut and dry as we would like it to be.

An example, which many failed to take heed of, was the Snickers Twitter campaign featuring Rio Ferdinand and Katie Price.  Many will be thinking, why did that one get cleared and the Nike one didn’t?

Well the answer is that Snickers included 2 hashtags in the tweets made by the two celebs – #snickersUK and #spon.  This was ruled by the ASA to be sufficient to make it obvious to fans of both of the celebs that it was a marketing message.

So what does all this mean and what are the issues remaining?  and were the ASA right to step in on this one?  Not everyone agrees;

Robin Grant, global managing director of We Are Social, told The Drum: “The ASA has made some questionable decisions recently which call into question its ability to properly regulate social media campaigns.

“It ruled that AMV’s Snickers campaign didn’t break the CAP Code when it clearly did and, in this instance they’ve ruled against Nike, when it could quite reasonably be argued that Wayne Rooney’s tweets did not fall within its remit.

“This is bad news for everyone, as incompetent and inconsistent regulators are in neither the industry’s or the public’s best interests.”

So, with people tweeting about different elements of their lives, including products and services that they are using on a daily basis where is the line to be drawn.  If an athlete says “hey, just been to pick up my new XYZ car.  It’s amazing!!”  – and the car company is a sponsor of theirs, does this constitute a marketing message or is it just natural commentary of their life?

The ASA mentioned in their ruling that one of the factors was that a marketing executive had been involved in the text that was used in the tweets by the two footballers.  So if Jack Wilshere tweets about his new boots that he’s just received and didn’t have anyone involved in choosing his words then this could, and should be, ok.  Right?

It’s very murky water we find ourselves in.

The other issue is going to how it is going to be monitored.  Currently there has to be a complaint for the ASA to act on.  So a brand could carry on using athletes, being clever with the words used, and try not to get any complaints then they will be fine.  But is it worth the risk?

From a brands perspective, if all their tweets coming from ambassadors have to include #ad or #sp will this lead to fans just ignoring them and their impact being substantially diminished?  It would be interesting to see the difference between the two and if there is any.

In summary – be careful with what you plan and, to be on the safe side, put in the #ad hashtag when suggesting promotional tweets to ambassadors.  Time will tell if anyone else falls into the same trap and if even the ASA ruling is correct.  What do you think?

Nike leak Sneijder move to Man Utd?

It looks like the move of Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan to Manchester United is becoming inevitable, even his sponsors Nike (who also sponsor Inter and United) think so! 

In a move that looks a tad premature and has still not been adjusted by the sponsor even though it has go0ing arounbd the internet for a day or so now.  The problem for them is that they have altered the SEO on their website, so now if you search ‘Nike football Wesley Sneijder’ it comes up with links to their website and info stating that “Wesley Sneijder plays for Man Utd and wears the Nike T90 Laser III.”

It does hark back to the England Rugby Grand Slam video which was leaked on YouTube before the final England game this year in which they lost to Ireland and didnt achieve their ultimate goal.  I’m sure that officials in Milan will be fuming if this reaches their ears, though judging by the papers today it looks like a done deal that will be confirmed in the next 48 hours.

Its not been a good week for the sports giant.  This comes on top of them being targeted in a Greenpeace campaign and reaching the front page of The Metro this morning under the headline “Nike staff: We cant stop bosses beating us”.  Their PR team will be in overdrive in the coming days it seems.

As an Man Utd fan I can only keep my fingers crossed that Nike are right on this one and he joins Young, Jones and De Gea in the United line up next month.

Here is a screengrab of the results…

Football Players ARE Brands

The recent Tiger Woods crisis showed the world how brands and athletes are tightly linked. While Accenture, Gatorade, AT&T dropped the golfer, other brands such as Gillette and Procter and Gamble, have significantly dimmed down their use of Tiger in advertising campaigns. EA Sports played differently as  Tiger shared his PGA Tour 2011 video game cover for the first time in 13 years. On the other hand, Nike stood by his athlete and aired an interesting, yet controversial advertsing campaign.

Athletes are the icons of sports brands. The Tiger Woods case showed  us that it can be a double edged sword.  I reckon the most famous football marketing icons would be David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane & Lionel Messi  among others for adidas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney & Didier Drogba (among others) for Nike. Eto’o being the Puma icon for some years now. 

It’s not an easy task to link a player to a brand. It is a long way process. Brands have a very well thought scouting system, and know talented young players before they get under mediatic spotlights. Sponsorship deals are being made, with parents agreement, and the kid grows up with the brand throughout his career. For those who saw the U-19 final where France deafeated Spain 2-1, all these youngsters were (already) wearing either adidas, Nike or Puma footwear. Obviously, these brands did not come up yesterday to add these players to their portfolio.

Gael Kakuta, the Chelsea player, Alexandre Lacazette the Olympique Lyonnais striker and Cédric Bakambu are the perfect examples. Three upcoming french stars, the first one wears the Superfly Vapour II, the OL player strikes with the adidas adizero F50 and Bakambu scored 2 goals against The Netherlands with his Pumas.

The “big three” are in constant look for the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Once players are contracted by either one the three (adidas, Nike, Puma) it is difficult for the other two to step in. In other words, I don’t see Nike approaching Xavi nor adidas willing to sign Didier Drogba. Not only the Spaniard and the Ivory Coast player are already strongly “stamped” by their current sponsor but it will be a very costly deal if it gets through. Secondly I would like to think that the sponsors would rather invest in signing new young players with this amount of cash.

Brands link their image (and vice versa) to footballers from a very early age and this is a long term investment which will pay off when these talented players will lift a World Cup or Champions League trophy. In the meantime, they would have encapsulated their sponsors brand image and values. They would have represented the brand throughout their career. For instance, Zidane & Beckham will always be associated with the adidas brand and ultimately with the Predator boot. Recently, we have seen Nike’s effort to market Cristiano Ronaldo with the Mercurial Vapor Superfly II and Rooney with the T90 Laser III.

Happy to hear your thoughts!

Nike’s new ‘Write The Future’ advert – genius!

Tomorrow’s Champions League Final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich will see the Television debut of the Nike’s new epic football commercial.  Not only will TV viewers love it but it is set to become another viral phenomenon as it gets tweeted and imbedded in blogs like this around the world.

The ‘write the future’ ad shows how footballers such as Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba have the ability to change their destinies with one pass on the looming World Cup stage.

Directed by renowned Hollywood artisan Alejandro G. Iñarritu (21 Grams, Babel), the ad features guest appearances by Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant and, in a moment of sheer comic genius, Homer Simpson (is hillarious and worth waiting for).  Seeing a bearded Rooney living in a caravan is a great touch as well.  Hats off to Nike for this one.

I’m sure you will love it as well and is well worth a few minutes of your Friday afternoon…….. enjoy!

Write The Future from Nalden on Vimeo.

Connecting Brands and Clubs

Last week Karl Lusbec wrote about the 20 Best Known European Football Brands. The article referenced a Sport+Markt 2009-2010 study of brand recognition among football fans in the top five markets (UK, Germany, Spain, France & Italy).  You can read the report yourself here.

I thought it might be interesting to look at this data and try to extrapolate from it which club brands were the most powerful.  Unscientific of course, but I wanted to see to what degree being aligned with a specific club (or clubs) is a factor, in addition to sponsoring tournaments like the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League or UEFA European Championships.  So, let’s take a look.  Here’s the 2009 Delloitte & Touche Money League of clubs* along with the brands listed in the Sport+Markt survey (and the brands ranking in that survey) associated with them:

1. Real Madrid – adidas (1), Coca-Cola (5), Audi (8), bwin (9)

2. Manchester United – Nike (2), AIG (6), Audi (8),

3. FC Barcelona – Nike (2), Audi (8), Unicef (15)

4. Bayern Munich – adidas (1), Coca-Cola (5), Audi (8)

5. Chelsea – adidas (1), Samsung (10), Heineken (20)

6. Arsenal – Nike (2), Emirates (5)

7. Liverpool – adidas (1), Carlsberg (7)

8. AC Milan – adidas (1), bwin (9)

9. AS Roma –

10. Inter Milan – Nike (2)

11. Juventus – Nike (2)

12. Olympique Lyonnais – Umbro (16), Orange (18)

13. Schalke 04 – adidas (1)

14. Tottenham Hotspur – Puma (3), Carlsberg (7)

15. Hamburger SV – adidas (1), Emirates (5)

16. Olympique Marseille – adidas (1), Orange (18)

17. Newcastle United – adidas (1)

18. VfB Stuttgart – Puma (3), Coca-Cola (4)

19. Fenerbahce – adidas (1), Audi (8)

20. Manchester City – Umbro (16)

*I looked for the list of official club sponsors on official team websites as of February 2010.

Who from the Sport+Markt list weren’t represented by a club from the Delloitte & Touche Money League clubs?

11. Reebok

12. Opel (Read this Sport Business story from 2001 calling them the ‘most successful shirt sponsor’)

13. Vodafone

14. Ford – Champions League

17. MasterCard – Champions League

19. Sony – Champions League

So, the two odd men out appear to be Reebok and Vodafone.  Now, Vodafone is a massive sponsor of sport and had a run with Man Utd a while back from which they may still be seeing a halo effect.  Reebok sponsors Ryan Giggs (Man Utd), Thierry Henry (Barca) and formally kitted out Liverpool and Man City.  AS Roma are the only club in the top 20 not aligned with a big sponsor.

I think a big winner here may be Audi.  Not a name I immediately associated with big time European football, I was surprised to see them so high.  But they have a variety of partnerships with leading clubs, allowing them to also create the Audi Cup in July 2009, which featured ManU, Bayern Munich and AC Milan along with Boca Juniors of Argentina.  I don’t think they’ve spent the same type of money as some of the other top 10 brands, bet I suspect they are reaping rewards from their associations.  Look too for Umbro to move up the charts if the English National Team can make a run in the 2010 FIFA World Cup this summer.