Nike vs Adidas > Battle Of Big Sports Brand Endorsers

As the heavyweight summer sports events draw ever closer, the two biggest beasts of the sportswear world have ramped up their own head-to-head marketing battle with new international campaigns spearheaded by their flagship global brand ambassadors.


Spring sees both brands lay the groundwork for the sporting summer with new global ad campaigns fronted by their top endorsers.


For Nike versus adidas, see Ronaldo Nadal versus Beckham & Messi.


First up is Nike’s campaign for the Mercurial Vapour VIII football boot which brings the brand’s two biggest European stars to the screen.


As the European football season heads towards a climax (with league titles to be won, the final stages of the UEFA Champions League and an eye on this summer’s European Championship), Christiano Ronaldo and Rafael Nadal front a ‘speed-themed’ campaign.


The Real Madrid superstar takes on the Spanish tennis sensation at the latter’s sport at an upscale club with the aid of the boots new ‘touch and traction that delivers explosive speed’. A rapid succession of volleys (from racket and boot) ensue as the players compete.


Not to be outdone, adidas is rolling out its own elite endorser led global campaign featuring global icon Beckham and Ronaldo’s great rival Lionel Messi.


Adidas claims the campaign, ‘All adidas’, is its biggest to date and the two protagonists are ably supported by other adidas stars including British heptathlete Jessica Ennis, tennis player Andy Murray, Chicago NBA star Derrick Rose and pop star Katy Perry).


The campaign promotes adidas Sport Performance, Originals and Sport Style ranges and marks the first time each of the sport brands separate lines have been advertised together.


Thirty and 60-second TV spots, from agency Sid Lee, showcase the stars performing in their respective sports and end with adidas’ classic three-stripe logo. The TV work is supported by mobile, retail, activation events and print work.


The brand aimed to build pre-campaign anticipation with a series of teasers and activity across its Facebook and Twitter pages that included daily, in-depth content from the sub-brands that ranged from new product releases to competitions for concert tickets.


“In the past 10 years we have successfully extended the adidas brand into three powerful sub-brands,” said Erich Stamminger, head of global brands for adidas. ‘Now we are proud to be able to show the breadth and depth of the (core) brand in one global brand campaign.”




Of course, this head-to-head work is just a taste of what we can expect to see on a grander scale this summer during the Olympics and the European Championships. For both blockbuster events adidas is the official partner, while Nike is already rolling out ambush work.


The adidas work is the first major international brand campaign since Amsterdam 180’s Impossible Is nothing work and is the biggest body of work yet from new agency Sid Lee.


The score thus far, according to YouTube views, is Nike 213,327 vs Adidas 662,460.




Nike ‘Ronaldo vs Nadal’ TVC




Adidas ‘We All Run’ TVC




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