We all love individuals brilliance, but the impossible only happens when we work together.

Adidas + 10 slogan For Adidas, the 2006 World Cup mobile portal was the most ambitious mobile effort to date. With more than $1 million invested in cross promotion, site design and multimedia content, the World Cup mobile portal was sure to become one of the most successful mobile campaigns ever. Yet, as Mirijam Michels, manager of Mobile Media for adidas International Marketing, reviwed the results at the beginning of March 2006, she doubted wheter the company could ever hope to reach the hoped for one million mobile telephone users. With just over three months until the championship, less than one per cent of the projected number of users had actually visited the site. Although adidas mobile short codes had appeared in television, print and outdoors advertising, no amount of publicity seemed to attract the audiencethat adidas was seeking. COMPANY BACKGROUND Adidas was founded in Germany in 1920 by Adolf Dassler. Following the Second World War, the company became an important supplier of footwear to German soccer teams. Later, the company expanded its footwear line to include “ fringe sports” , such as high jumping, weightlifting and bobsledding, all of which featured prominently in the Olympic national team won the World Cup soccer championship. In the 1990s, the company increasingly outsourced its production to third-party suppliers in order to focus more on marketing. Adidas became a public company in 1995, as global sales of its performance footwear continued to increase and it secured its position as the leading supplier of soccer footwear worldwide. In 1998, adidas began to focus more on the US market, which had been dominated by Nike and Reebok, by sponsoring basketball icons as Kobe Bryant. Within a year, adidas had more than doubled its U.S. market share. The company hoped to continue making inroads into the US basketball market with the 2004 launch of the T-MAC 4, the world’s first laceless basketball shoe. In August 2003, adidas topped off its foray into the United States by acquiring Reebok for an estimated $3,8 billion. With worldwide revenues of $12 billion, the acquisition firmly established adidas as the number two footwear company in the world, after Nike with $14 billion in annual revenues. The company’s media division was part of Adidas International B.V., a Netherlands-based subsidiary responsible for the company’s total marketing campaigns was the responsibility of regional subsidiaries, which had their own marketing departments. Regional offices localized advertising to suit national markets based on guidelines and principles developed by adidas International Marketing in the Netherlands. The media division was responsible for digital marketing, wich had grown to more than 10 per cent of the company’s total marketing budget in recent years. The budget for digital marketing included spending on online advertising, video games and mobile communication, but not “ dot-com”, which had its own budget.

The competition Nike was the global leader in athletic footwear. In the US market, it had a 40% market share, compared to approximately 32% for adidas. Nike’s dominance of the basketball segment began with the 1985 signing of basketball star Michael Jordan and introduction of the Air Jordan line of basketball shoes. By 2003, Nike’s share of the basketball segment was approximately 60% versus 20% for adidas and 15% for Reebok. In addition to basketball, Nike’stop products were running shoes, children’s shoes, cross-training shoes and women’ shoes. Kike also began to aggressively pursue adidas traditional market of soccer footwear and accessories by sponsoring the Manchester United soccer team in 2002. The company likewise increased advertising spending for important soccer events, such as the World Cup. In 2003, Nike edged out adidas for the first time in European soccer market with 34% market share, compared 30% for adidas. Adidas then retrenched in an effort to re-establish its dominance in soccer. THE 2006 WORLD CUP The World Cup was the most important soccer championship in the world. Similar to the Olympic Games, the World Cup was held every four years and was viewed by more than one billion people. The top 32 teams in the world qualified to compete at venues in a selected country over a period of several weeks. In 2006, the World Cup was hosted by Germany. Adidas was the official partner of the Swiss-based Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the governing body responsible for the World Cup. FIFA was the second largest organization in the world after the United Nations, and since 1930, it had been responsible for most major international soccer tournaments. Although the partnership between adidas and FIFA gave adidas an advantage over its competitors. Nike sought over other ways to establish a presence during the World Cup. In addition to sponsoring several national teams. Nike created an online networking website and its own mobile telephone portal. Nike’s campaign centered on the Portuguese slogan “joga bonito”, in reference to “the Nike sponsored Brazilian team’s supposed artistry with soccer ball.” Brazil had won more world championships than any other country, including the previous World Cup in 2002. In addition, the roster included Ronaldo Assis Moreira, a midfielder more popularly known as Ronaldinho and considered by many to be the best player in the world. Nike supported its campaign with both a mobile portal and website. For its Internet site. Nike entered into a partnership with Google to create an online community. The site had some initial success attracting an audience of ardent soccer players and fans, who helped build the online community with discussion, videos and other user-created content. The Global Marketing Meeting: Defining a Strategy The stated mission of adidas was to dominate the World Cup in its home market of Germany. To that end, it planned to outspend Nike by ratio of two to one. As Adidas began its planning in early 2005, it assigned specific groups to manage each of the marketing platforms. “The main aim was to have a seamlessly integrated campaign, with the same look and feel”, explained Mirjam Michels, manage of Mobile Media.

one of the most successful mobile campaigns ever. a mobile entertainment agency. By choosing soccer as the venue on wich to battle archival Nike. explained Michels. Some wireless carriers also offered limited edition Star Wars phones. and the team will only succeed wit individual moments of brilliance. mobile portals.5G and 3G consumers in Europe. We are determined to remain the leader within the soccer category and where possible even extend the gap to our competitor. When advertisements were shown to teenagers. games.99 per download with the exception of games. Drake thought the Star Wars campaign could inform the World Cup efforts of adidas. on the other hand. In March 2005. “Anything creative has to be signed off by 180”. At 2005 GMM. including ring tones. Amsterdam-based creative agency 180 initially developed the +10 concept. from retail. including the Road Lisbon for the 2004 European soccer championship. animated screensavers.” Drake told his marketing team. tickers with sports. by mid-2006 there will be a very large penetration of 2. adidas’ heartland. That responsibility fell solely on shoulders of the adidas media group in Amsterdam. on the other hand. +10: Together I Am Strong With the World Cup campaign. Nick Drake. including games. this arrangement created more work for the media group. to media. text messages. As we consider our activity over the next year and a half. on May 19. However.99 each. As such. soccer leadership will decide brand leadership. had already examined a number of applications for delivering mobile marketing content to consumers. adidas chose to move away from Nike’s emphasis on player salaries and “flash” . adidas hoped to distinguish itself from competitors as noted in an internal company memo: Kine has always been about the individual. Lucasfilm partnered with a number of cellular network carrier to provide global coverage and hired THQ Wireless. were viewed as “ creative” categories that emphasized brand-building over transactions. “ The World Cup is bigger than Star Wars. 2005.“ Drake explained to his team. One advertisement explained that players can only be brilliant with the support of the team. discounts or other incentives intended to directly influence product purchases. we have a little more freedom. sound effects. news and weather information. allowing us to deliver the most comprehensive brand experience available for mobile such as Java Tickers and Flash-based mobile portals. According to company research. Drake was confident that the adidas mobile effort would be capable of surpassing Lucas film’s star wars. we shold be able to surpass the current industry benchmark set by Star Wars of 900000 unique users. where division heads. wich cost U$$5. We always knew that mobile would be an important part of that. which included preloaded content and two tickets to see the movie. we must not loose sight our long term goal. Surpassing Star Wars By the time adidas started planning its mobile campaign. and therefore lacked understanding of the unique needs of digital media. “ I feel strongly that we need to take an advance position on the market so that we will have the most up-to-date and sophisticated experience available. a truth that was based on cooperation. adidas decided to emphasize the real truth of soccer. Therefore. and downloadable content. in the past. Marketing teams would then use the concepts to formulate a final media strategy. wallpapers. At the center of the campaign was +10. soccer today reaches way beyond the actual fans of the game and it touches all spectrums of society.This really included everything. that’s cool”. The event was an opportunity to present initial creative concepts and discuss ways to improve on them. adidas hoped the +10 campaign would “makesoccer inspirational. they would reply. In doing so. Instead of focusing on individual star players. to Internet. It’s about me: “Look how cool I am”. so we should be able to do even better. Our mission is to unequivocally establish adidas as the leader in soccer in the hearts and minds of the world and to establish our commitment to build and maximize our retail partnerships together. meaningful and shared”. 2005. It’s “I can’t be a good player unless I have a team around me”. actor interview and video clips of behind-the-scenes action. . Film and sport. adidas had limited succedd differentiating itself from Nike. Our campaign will reflect this phenomenon and therefore foster and murture our relationship with all young people interested in sports. country managers and representatives from major retailers discussed the company’s marketing concepts for the upcoming year. using all strength and credibility the brand has within the game and towards a soccer audience. With +10. Although on one hand. On April 4. Most content cost U$$1. such as ring tones and wallpaper. The 2006 FIFA World Cup offers a unique opportunity to capture our global audience through soccer. to develop and distribute content. above the line and below the line. and the World Cup promises to be the most widely consumed event in history. the tricks. Adidas is as strong a youth brand as any in the market place. “ But because they don’t work directly with digital media. it provided a much greater level of freedom. However. If current trends hold. wich referred to the relationship of each player with other 10 teammates. Oh. the company outlined its objectives for the World Cup Campaign to employees and retail partners: In the long-term. the mobile (global) media team attendedthe company’s annual Global Marketing Meeting (GMM). manager of Mobile Media until Michaels succeeded him in January 2006. the campaign would focus on the iimportance of the team. The agency began working with adidas in 1998 and developed a number of award-winning global campaigns. but they would often connect the commercial with Nike rather than adidas. 180 focused mainly on print and television media. Soccer is the battleground both we and Nike have chosen in order to fight for global brand and business leadership. Adidas has always been about team and about working together. and the skills. character biographies. Many mobile marketing campaigns were promotionally based efforts involving coupons. Lucasfilm had launched its mobile portal in anticipation of the release of the film Star Wars Revenge of the Sith. The success of our efforts leading up to and around the event will have a significant impact on our brand. and to focus instead on the game and importance of teamwork.

I haven’t seen this anywhere. had some initial doubts about Drake’s projections. . not all the content designed for traditional media worked well in a mobile environment. The +Predator Absolute featured an advanced design representing the higher end of the product category and would be worn by leading players during the World Cup. Drake agreed: The majority of our employees do not have latest handsets. Michels believed that the process of adjusting the material was often a less efficient use of resources than creating new content specifically for mobile. At the same time. “None of this has been backed up by research. whose enthusiasm finally convinced him that the plan was viable.” Michels noted. new content was presented in a subheading on the main menu. The event culminated in televised games between teams. It’s about how much time people spend with your brand. the type of thing that will generate some buzz. STAGE ONE RAN FROM November to December 31. Most importantly. First.Michels.” Prenderville replied. 2005. Drake told Prevenderville that his teram planned to attract at least 1 million visitors to the World Cup mobile site. The next stage saw the introduction of the +Predator Absolute soccer boot on November 17. Marketing for the +Predator Absolute focused on retail promotions. the content would be provided free of charge to anyone with a properly equipped phone. Most people in adidas did not share Drake’s optimism. One kid has some new videos on his phone. the company launched a new soccer boot called Tunit that was designed to allow wearers to make modifications to improve play for different conditions and player styles. but you cannot see it on mobile. Second. 2005. the creation of new material would have a provided users with fresh and original content. and 60% are already regularly using 2. Europe and Japan. wich would run from April to July 2006. some admitting to crying if they have lost it because they feel unconnected. In contrast. The first three. There wasn’t anything that would make people say. After demonstrating examples of other successful mobile initiates. Everyone understand that consumers use mobile. “You don’t want them coming back in a month and seeing the same things. Kids can talk endlessly about the players them look cool. Second. Campaign Phases The + 10 campaign was launched in five stages. Obviously it is a hugely important part of their lives. Potential players were advised to register their soccer resumés on the company website. who had been working under Drake at the time. was known as the “Impossible Team”. Drake insisted that adidas had two advantages over the Star Wars promotion. “Imagine a player running across a field. wich for me is much more important because PR has a stronger influence on consumers. During each phase. Prenderville knew that to attain this level. the media group provided new content to Minick. since we have never done a campaign like this before. that’s tremendous compared to a 30 second ad that you are pushing on TV. Prenderville agreed to allocate a portion of the campaign’s strategic funds to mobile. This is really exclusive stuff. The main objective was to explain the concept of +10 using television and other media. so the other kids come over to see it after school. but few really understand what is cool or what can be done. Adidas sent professional soccer players to recruit from the general population in Latin America. the Swiss mobile agency and a subsidiary of THQ Wireless. so they are not aware of the kinds of things that are available. Still. because they hold a more traditional point of view. online media and mobile. This stage represented the bulk of adidas advertising and promotion.” Explained Michaels. “You can see it beautifully on TV.” Explained Michaels. The third stage saw the introductionof a match quality soccer ball on December 8.” The differences in content delivery created two problems. It featured television commercials on major networks around the world. print. The final stage. The hot term in media these days is “engagement”. “Oh cool. wich update the mobile portal to reflect the various stages of the campaign. outdoors.000 people. “They didn’t really understand the role of mobile phones in people’s lives. less exciting and less attractive: One thing I have learned is that tradional agencies don’t understand the unique requirements of mobile. 2006 and represented the transition from the earlier World Cup-related product launches to the main World Cup events that would take place over summer. head of Global Media. Utimately. “ This will be the icing on the cake for our marketing plan. as well as cinema. with the launch of replica World Cup Federation jerseys. known as the “Expose Phase” focused on product lauches.” Prenderville added. to request funding for the project. The advertising agency in particular doesn’t understand it. The jerseys fostered patriotism centered on national teams in an effort to create awareness about the upcoming championships.” It’s all about what we call social currency. Then there is the psychological evidence that Kids form an emotional attachment to their phones. including David Beckham and Zidane. First. print. and the most successful mobile campaign we’ve ever launched reached than 100. online and mobile. “My concern is that this will require a considerable investment and I want to make sure that it achieves critical mass for the brand Prederville. The fourth stage was part of the “Explain Phase”. mobile media was continuing to evolve into an essential element in most people’s lives: The simple hard factes are that 90% of our target audience have mobile phones in Western Europe. 2005.” You need to change the content to get kids to come back to the site.5G technology.” She observed. after which players with the best resumes were invited to a live selection event. Michael felt that “recycled material” was less innovative. wich ran from February 9 to March 31. They don’t know what kids want. the media group had to adjust th material to make it suitable for digital and mobile platforms. Mostly it is a matter of reeducating the company about how mobile technology has change and what it is capable of. However. bringing the budget to an unprecedent $1. Drake approached Rich Prenderville. Mobile Phases The phases product launched provided the media group with an opportunity to introduce new mobile content for each phase. Prenderville saw Drake as an “evangelist” for mobile media.” For each of the phases. It’s much broader than CPM and it helps build PR. adidaswould need to achieve record levels of mobile marketing reach and adoption. If you have someone on your website or mobile portal for several minutes.25 million. the World Cup was a global phenomenon with a much wider fan base than any film could hope to have.

” Adidas originally planned to show the short codes at the end of each spot. However. they make sure that campaign performs. because they did not comply with German regulations. the results were disappointing. which concerned Michels. If they are not being promised something. Michels had originally thought that “television would be great”: however. “It was pretty small. We are gibing averything away for free. Although Michels believed more strongly than ever that the mobile component would fall well short of initial projections. The television component of the +10 Explain phase feature well-known soccer players who recruit 10 ordinary men to join an ad hoc team. “This is going to cost me something. As soon as some of their own investiment is at stake. Adidas purchased short codes in each region participating in the mobile promotion. and even in those markets. which were then printed at the bottom of billboards and print ads. You need to look at this way. short codes could not be broadcast in the United Kingdom. because consumers have to make an effort to enter the text message.. who suggested that she include the short codes on television spots. Although this strategy helped to create a more consistent product it also limited the development of content that met distinctive needs of local fans. they generally don’t show interest as they are not responsible for the campaign’s soccer. By January 2006. it needs to be in the local language because subtitles are too small to read. The applet then connected with a third-party information provider that adidas had contracted to feed scores and other informstion to users for a flat fee.” Explained Michels. adidas agreed to show the short codes only in markets that not require a terms-and-conditions statement. Adidas was very subtle and it didn’t work for us. Michels also believed that local markets remained aloof because they had not committed any funds to the campaign. Therefore. and real-time scores. she “still hoped for a miracle”. you can put subtitles.5G phones using an advertised code at a cost of E5. so what am I going to get in return?” If we invest in short codes. Since MTV’s broadcasts focused on regional markets. We had a lot invested in print and we assumed that that would give mobile a pretty big push. It’s something really cool to show to your friends. During the last phase of the campaign. Every market afreed and it all went fine.Because such a declaration would substantially interfere with the impact of the commercial spots. In most marketers. There needs to be some sort of value exchange. For example. They are also constantly bombarded with offesrs from other companies. Like videos of Beckham. You just don’t get mobile content for free. content for the mobile portal was created and distributed solely by the adidas media group. If you don’t make markets pay. but can’t on mobile. the mobile portal attracted fewer than 2000 visitors. Any earnings generated from subscription fees also went to the information provider not to adidas. but it was noticeable. adidas charged consumers a subscription free to access soccer score. Still. Videos featured soccer stars explaining the concept of +10 and how they would set about choosing players for their teams. For the World Cup. They think.” Explained Michels. The final decision was “no”. we didn’t see any results. I think it is really powerful to have players talk to you on your mobile in the local language. where uniquely localized material was developed. Unfortunately. they are not going to enter the short code at their own cost. By the end of February. adidas planned to add a free applet to the mobile portal that provided users with real time soccer scores for World Cup matches. Except for the United States and China. because we felt it was a marketing tool and it is not right to charge the consumer. wallpapers. As a result. To generate awareness among soccer fans. you need close-ups of people. in the back of her mind “alarm bells were going off” as she became increasingly worried that the campaign might fall short of expectations. mobile advertisers were required to display a lengthy declaration after a short code explaining the terms and conditions of the offer. consumers need to know what they are getting. . videos.In many cases. “Whether or not we should charge consumers has always been a big question for us. print and television advertising. the regulations of one country applied to all countries within the broadcast region. adidas chose to dispense fees. the World Cup campaign was cross-promoted through outdoor. users could download an applet to 2. for example. Michels discussed her concerns with her counterparts at 180. Michaels tried to remain optimistic as she reassured her superiors that the company’s targets would be reached. Kids are mobile savvy. it provided content such as wallpaper and videos. Cross promotion Unlike previous mobile efforts. which it saw as a “provider of youth credibility and expertise. We tried to get the ads to show some consumer benefits. In previous campaigns. And it is really exclusive and authentic atuff. it is really simple. but ran into regulatory hurdles. in the end the short codes were only broadcast in Spain and Italy. when you are shooting photos. For audio. On TV. which was charged directly to the users’s monthly mobile phone bill. The commercials were primarily shown on MTV. Kids are used to paying for everything. 2005. Mobile could have also supported local initiatives such as retail events and local product launches. the mobile site had attracted only 3000 visitors. most of wich offer nothing better than some annoying ring tone. The mobile component of the +10 campaign was officially launched on October 10.00 for two months use. local language content is really important. which had been promoted almost exclusively online. During the Euro 2004 soccer championships.