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Corporate brands taking advantage of the passionate texture of football – Nike vs. Adidas

On top of being a premium football event, the FIFA World Cup is also a social party for corporate brands. Despite not being one of the official FIFA sponsors, other brands still invests highly in football’s most notorious party. For Nike, its football (soccer) business unit has already created buzz around the #RiskEverything campaign, which features a funny and peculiar animated film under the title The Last Game. The film portrays the contrasts between risky and safe football and as one side (the scientist and the clones) attempts to prove that safe football is the best choice regarding effectiveness, ‘Ronaldo Fenomeno’ and the original players (animated) strongly disagree and thus work hard to prove the scientist wrong. In other words, the original players (Neymar Junior, Wayne Rooney, Christiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Luiz, Andrés Iniesta, Tim Howard and Franck Ribéry in animated versions) use a rhetoric meant to emphasize that they must ‘save’ the original and entertaining beauty of the game of football. In a couple of days, the video has already reached more than 25 mio. viewers on YouTube and that’s brilliant in an era where football blends extremely well with the Facebook and YouTube culture characterizing young football enthusiasts. As part of this campaign, Nike has worked strategically to engage and challenge football fans via social media. In collaboration with freestyle footballers like the SkillTwins and Sean Garnier, Nike gives football fans the opportunity to take on and beat these footballers in terms of displaying great skills and tricks with the ball. That is something that will most likely bond well with young football fans eager to copy the artistic tricks that gives the world’s most popular game an interesting and entertaining edge. Nike adds this wording: #Magista is about doing what others can’t. Can you top Séan Garnier’s skills? Tag your Vines with #RiskEverything and “Playmakers like the SkillTwins stay a step ahead. Use#RiskEverything to show us your best skills”.

Skærmbillede 2014-06-12 kl. 13.09.32Skærmbillede 2014-06-12 kl. 13.09.46

Photos: The SkillTwins and Sean Garnier showing off via Vine.

This competition outside the pitch offers football fans an exciting and accessible presentation of the dynamics of sport marketing in relation to the biggest football event worldwide. There is a fierce rivalry between Nike and German rival (and official FIFA sponsor) Adidas and this rivalry underscores an intense competition on and off the pitch concerning innovation and creativity as it relates to marketing but also to product development, placement and positioning whether focus is on kits, balls, boots and so on. As you can see below, Nike presented the Winner Stays film. Adidas responded by showing Kanye West rapping in Lionel Messi’s dreams. Nike has now shown its comeback in a funny film, in which Zlatan wants to sell his own autobiography while Wayne Rooney works in a fish market and Neymar acts a hair cutter etc. Let’s see what #Adidas comes up with next…..

Nike’s Winner Stays film has reached more than 74 mio. viewers on YouTube.

Adidas’ The Dream film has reached more than 33 mio. viewers on YouTube.

Maybe this will feature a good comeback from Adidas:


Adidas Football (soccer) on YouTube.

Nike Football (soccer) on Vine. See also here.

Nike Football (soccer) on YouTube.

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