Case Analysis: Mobile Marketing at Adidas

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Case Analysis

Mobile Marketing at adidas

March 15, 2010


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1. What is adidas’ position in the athletic shoe market? How does the brand seem to be doing in this market? Position: the position of adidas has transferred from “leading supplier of soccer footwear worldwide” to “leading sport brand”. Adidas was founded in Germany in 1920. In 1995, it became a public company as well as the leading supplier of soccer footwear due to its great performance of footwear sales. In 1998, adidas began to move into the U.S. market. Adidas doubled its U.S. market share within only one year, so it hoped to continue to make big move in following years. In its way to U.S. market, adidas confront with the most powerful competitor—Nike. “In the U.S. market, it had a 40 per cent market share, compared to approximately 16 per cent for adidas and Reebok”. When adidas exert itself to pursue the U.S market, Nike also began to seize adidas’s traditional market—soccer. “In 2003, Nike edged out adidas for the first time in the European soccer market with a 34 per cent market share, compared to 30 per cent for adidas”. In this case, adidas not only need to protect its traditional soccer market share, but also try its best to infiltrate U.S. market.


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2. What evidence does adidas have that suggests the importance and potential success of digital interactive and mobile marketing? Evidence one - consumers’ needs: There is a need to move away from print media and replace it with digital advertising. Nowadays, print media is eclipsed by other forms of marketing communications. As Prenderville noted “Print for us has become a poor environment in regard to clutter. If you look at the magazine FHM, for example, in some issues you need to go to page 48 before you get any editorial. Unless you have the inside front or back covers, you just become part of the clutter”. Meanwhile, urban environments are fast becoming saturated with advertising messages and many people’s lives are intruded by advertising, which is pretty annoying. As a result, customers sought new ways to avoid unwanted messages, for example, they use digital video recorders and popup blockers. Besides, have learned lessons from Korea and Europe’s SMS advertising, adidas adopted an “opt-in” policy for all Internet and mobile advertising. “In order to receive communications from adidas, users had to request it”. Evidence two - past performance: It’s a huge success when adidas once adopted the digital media for advertising. Adidas took over the Yahoo portal to promote its “Impossible is Nothing” Campaign. The campaign was one of the most successful advertisements placed on Yahoo and it reached more than twice the number of customers initially expected. Of those 5 million downloads, the average visitor viewed more than 22 seconds of the 30 seconds clip. Most visitors browsed and several thousand pairs of shoes are sold as a result. Adidas’s first attempt at interactive mobile marketing in Sweden in 2002 and it’s another ring tone program in the United Kingdom were also successful. Evidence three - the era of mobile media On one hand, advanced 3G technology creates great opportunities for adidas to have its brand in the hands of consumers. “With the advent of 3G in Europe, wireless providers prepared to deliver rich content to phones. Users would be able to browse the web, watch movie clips and sporting events, download music and play games”. On the other hand, more and more people use 2.5G and 3G-equipped cellular phones, which is good news for adidas who uses the mobile as a media for advertising. “By 2003, 70 per cent of Europeans owned cellular phones”. According to the Global Media Group, mobile media has several advantages over traditional media. For one, mobile media devices had the portability of print, so they can provide continuous on-time information to customers....
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