SAN JOSE, CA: Adidas has emerged a World Cup victor as, in addition to sponsoring the two teams in the final, new research shows it generated significantly more social buzz than sporting goods rival Nike, which sponsored the losing semi-finalists.
According to data from Adobe Digital Index (ADI), Adidas, an official World Cup sponsor, generated an average 71% more daily championship-related social media buzz than Nike, a non-sponsor, despite having started more slowly. Overall, ADI said, World Cup sponsors saw a 125% daily social buzz increase compared to the average in the month preceding the event.
Tom Child, strategist at brand consultants Landor, suggested that one reason for Nike's relative lack of success at the tournament was due to its choice of players. "Half of the athletes heavily marketed by Nike failed to qualify for the knock out stages and failing to represent a team in the final means Nike will have to review their marketing strategy," he told Marketing Interactive before the final game.
But what Nike did have in the final was Mario Götze wearing its boots to score the winning goal. Set against that, however, Adidas has deals with the tournament's individual prize winners - Lionel Messi (Golden Ball), James Rodriguez (Golden Boot) and Manuel Neuer (Golden Glove).
Nike also came up with its own stats to declare itself a winner too, arguing that its teams had scored 72 goals against Adidas's 68, and its losing semi-finalists had a greater score of the pitch, based on minutes played.
Data from Visible Measures, the online video measurement company, also gave Nike the lead in terms of video views: its eight campaigns registered a total 240.6m views, Advertising Age reported, with the top two videos pulling in almost five times as many viewers as the leading Adidas video. It added that Adidas "unquestionably" beat Nike in terms of TV time and exposure.
Amid these competing and confusing claims for brand dominance, it was clear that social and mobile were becoming integral parts of major sporting events, not just in terms of fans commenting on what's taking place on the pitch, but also in terms of online video viewing.
ADI's analysis of more than 2.7bn World Cup rebroadcaster online video starts captured by Adobe analytics found that during peak days, almost one in four online video starts happened on mobile (16%) and tablet devices (7%), up from 18% combined before the World Cup.
Data sourced from Adobe Digital Index, Advertising Age, Forbes, Marketing, Marketing Week, Marketing Interactive; additional content by Warc staff