Adidas ‘Boost’ Launch Spans Star Events & Local Runs

After a few weeks of traditional and PR and digital hype (including this online teaser film…)



Adidas launched its new Boost premium running brand on 13 February with a glitzy New York launch event starring heavyweight athlete brand ambassadors Yohan Blake and Haile Gebrselassie.



Both Jamaican Blake (the 100-metre world champ and Olympic silver medallist) and Ethiopian Gebrselassie (two-time 10,000-metre Olympic gold medallist) spoke about Boost’s revolutionary technology on stage and via personal press interviews.


Much of this content was then seeded online.



As well as the endorser athletes, other celebrities at the event, held at the Jacob K Javits Convention Centre (which also hosts the annual New York City Marathon Expo), included Nikki Reed and Phoebe Tonkin, actresses Rosario DawsonMorena BaccarinMaggie Grace, actor Anton Yelchin and rapper Big Sean.


Others joining the celebrities and Adidas employees at the launch included retailers, prominent running bloggers and journalists more than 400 press outlets from nearly 30 countries (many of whom were flown in specially).


Invites to the flagship event, plus matching launches around the world came in the form of a branded metal-effect box which contained a metal ball, a small USB stick and the actual invite – all running under the line ‘Experience Endless Energy’.


Adidas also gave out iPads (pre-loaded with Boost educational and promotional material) as well as pairs of Boost shoes.


Running retailers used traditional channels and social media and branded promotional material to promote their own pre-launch special ‘Boost Runs’ to customers coinciding with the launch events – such as the FootWorks ‘Adidas Boost Test Run & Launch Party’.


Thus the brand used its retailer network to engaging customer through participation that enabled runners to test out Boost shoes and then enjoy an after-hours party where they could socialise and share verdicts with other local runners (and have a bite to eat and a drop to drink too of course).


The launch phase is supported by a high-profile advertising push that includes TV, online video promotion, outdoor, print and online activity to introduce the campaign’s ‘Endless Energy’ strapline.



Further headline promotions and sampling opportunities for the Boost range are planned for the Berlin, Boston and London marathons, and there is a parallel marketing initiative connected to the global weekly running event series ‘Parkrun’.


Boost is Adidas’ new premium footwear range built with what the German sports apparel giant describes as ‘innovative midsole energy capsule technology’ which Adidas hopes will form the core of a sub-brand that will do for its brand what the Air sub-brand did for Nike in the 1980s.


‘Running is a key growth area for the sports market but there hasn’t been any major innovation in it from a product standpoint in recent years,’ says Adrian Leek, senior vice president for global running for Adidas. ‘We’re trying to change that with a premium product that we can build on in the long-term and make the market more competitive on product innovation.’


Interest in energy capture and cushioned layers has been high, particularly since the launch of Christopher McDougall’s ‘Born To Run’ book in 2009 which researched the case for barefoot running. The main Boost message is that the technology, which looks rather like a thick wad of polystyrene beads stuck together, provides more energy return than any other foam cushioning material in the running industry.


Boost technology, the result of an interesting partnership between Adidas and global chemical giant BASF, is built around thermoplastic polyurethane modules which, it is claimed, put a spring in your step.


Boost is a revolutionary material which combines the usually conflicting performance benefits of soft and comfortable, on the one hand, and firm and responsive cushioning, on the other, for the most comfortable run ever,’ adds Adidas Head of Innovation Bernd Wahler. ‘Boost sets a new standard not only for running shoes, but for the entire industry and all products going forward.’


Adidas has already announced that it plans to extend its Boost strategy to other sports categories in the next few months and will use insight from its online ‘Adidas’ Insiders’ community to develop future collections and campaigns.




This marks Adidas’ first major global product-led brand push since its London 2012 Olympics activation and it will hope the new work builds on Adidas’ (which was long seen as predominantly more of a football brand) positive Olympics association.


Despite a general absence of post-Olympic running marketing, Adidas’ most recent figures who an 11% rise in its ‘running revenue’ (to €4.17bn / £3.5bn) in the third quarter of 2012.


How much of this increase is due to a Post Olympics spike, or whether more people are opting for running as a cheaper option than organised sports or the gym remains to be seen.


Either way, Adidas has earmarked the running category as a key growth driver between now and 2015 as it battles rivals such as Nike and Asics for market share.




NY Launch Event Video YouTube



Boost Launch Teaser Video YouTube



Boost Promotional Video YouTube



Adidas Boost Website


Adidas Running Facebook


Product Launch Hashtag


FootWorks Facebook Page




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