This season’s premiership is finally over and, while it was a Nike team (Manchester City) who claimed the trophy on the final day, it was rival sportswear giant adidas who arguably ran the best real time campaign leveraging one of the closets championships in years in the fork of ‘Unlock the Game’
The German apparel maker rolled out the campaign through April and May as the top English league moved towards its climax focusing on player ambassadors who played a key role in the title outcome and asking ‘who can unlock the game’ in such a tight title race?
Front and centre were stars from the three teams tilting at the trophy: City’s David Silva, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, to Chelsea’s Oscar.
While supporting roles were given to the likes of Leighton Baines, Juan Mata, Aaron Ramsey and Luke Shaw.
While the campaign was launched with an online film which shows the adidas players on the training ground as they honed the skills they hoped would lead to the trophy,
yet it primarily revolved around real-time comments on the fortunes of these key players via contextual and tactical social print executions which ran before, during and after the big games.
The creative, using a funky slice of CGI to show each footballer unlock their key talents in a virtual world, rolled out in real time across the brand’s own social channels and platforms as the final games of the Barclays Premier League’s 2013/14 season were played.
The campaign, which came from an adidas team that included BBH Sport and Hill & Knowlton, supported the launch of the brand’s newest boots – adizero F50, Predator, 11Pro and Nitrocharge.
The social media work was led by Jack Smedley and George Hackforth-Jones, while the web film was by A+’s Niall O’Brien.
While adidas backs a slew of major teams – such as Bayern Munchen, AC Milan, Real Madrid CF, AFC Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Basel 1893, FC Kobenhaven, FC Schalke 04 and Olympique de Marseille – it was only Chelsea who were genuinely competing for the Barclays Premier Legaue come the end of the season.
So by building a campaign around its player ambassadors it was able to leverage excitement around the title race despite not not owning all the official rights to the league or all the clubs involved.
Much like the tactic Nike will use to ambush adidas at the upcoming World Cup.
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