The value of social media and networks really boils down to what we do with the resources we have available within the social media networks as well as the engagement levels between the marketing communication or product campaigns and the targeted audience. In some recent research, we looked at the internet-based marketing efforts of the Adidas brand compared to two leading competitors in its market segments of athletic wear and fashion; Nike and Puma. Creative interactive enhancements were proposed to increase Adidas’ customer engagement awareness against its competitors.
Adidas was founded in 1954 and is based in Germany. It became Adidas-Salomon AG in 1997. In 2006, Adidas-AG acquired Reebok and continued forging its position as one of the top athletic brands in the world. The company has three main brands which are Adidas, TaylorMade and Reebok. Each of these brands have signature campaigns and merchandise but the focus of this paper will be on the Adidas brands and campaigns. The Adidas Group’s mission is to be the global leader in the sporting goods industry while providing their users brands that are built on a passion for sports and a sporting lifestyle. As clearly stipulated on the Adidas website, “…adidas’ mission is to be the leading sports brand in the world. One major lever to achieve this is the brand’s broad and unique product portfolio spanning from apparel and footwear for professional athletes to premium fashion”. The two main groups in the Adidas Sport Style are the Originals Group (Adidas Original label) and the Fashion Group (Adidas Y-3, Adidas Porsche Design Sport, Adidas SLVR and Adidas NEO labels).
Even though Adidas already has social networking sites, they were not integrated for uniform information sharing. Information across existing platforms could be viewed as standalone messages for specific brands and product styles. YouTube, Twitter, WordPress and LinkedIn pages that were created for the research under the Adidas Share Your Stripes Campaign were linked to the Adidas Show Your Stripes Campaign Blog using existing functionality. Any message posted on the blog for any of the Adidas product groups was automatically shared on Twitter and LinkedIn. It also had the capability of posting directly on Facebook. This integrated marketing communication strategy was and is still missing in current Adidas campaigns on social networking sites.