The FIFA World Cup is the globe’s largest sporting event bar none and in 2014, Adidas was the official sponsor. For the three years proceeding, teams from every corner of the globe compete for the glory of being one of the 24 nations to go through to the finals and once there, the audience is the entire world.
Adidas needed to increase its share of the highly competitive youth market in the Arab region and this incredible spectacle was also the largest sales driver there is for sportswear brands worldwide. The opportunity for Adidas was huge and the stakes were high. But it wasn’t going to be easy...
The All In Or Nothing campaign had become Adidas’ brand anthem. It reflected a universal sentiment but in reality it was only connecting with nations that had representation in the world cup. Unfortunately Arab’s found themselves with only one team from the region (Algeria) qualifying, which meant this campaign was not cutting through. Add to that, the World Cup is a notoriously cluttered marketplace and Nike had a successful history of ambushing Adidas in this area - especially in digital.
Starcom MediaVest Group needed to rise above the noise and find a way to unite, excite and engage the region throughout the World Cup finals and make Adidas and All In Or Nothing relevant among Arab youths.
When it comes to football, every Arab is passionate and every Arab has an opinion. It doesn’t matter which team is playing, they love to brag about their knowledge of the game, and social media is the ideal forum to amplify their opinions. As a result, second screening during games has become extremely popular.
But with only one team from a large and diverse region making the cut, engagement was waning. SMG needed to combine their passion for football and their passion for second screening to create a virtual space that would keep the region engaged, despite their lack of representation on the field.
The World Cup is already an incredible experience so it had to offer football fans genuine value, in a way that they could not experience with any other brand. It had to cut across geographies and team alliances and bring together like-minded fans to celebrate the World Cup with Adidas.
SMG built the area’s first social stadium – The All in Arena – capturing the experience and atmosphere of a real stadium and allowing fans to actively engage with the World Cup in a whole new way. It created a unique virtual community and currency for Arabs to connect and participate with like-minded supporters, bringing them together in real time to cheer and celebrate the World Cup’s biggest moments, no matter which team was playing.
Fans could enter the stadium by creating a profile using their Twitter credentials, choose their team and zone to start cheering for them. They could sit next to other fans from the region passionately awaiting games, anticipating every move and celebrating wins and losses. Every corner, every goal, every emotion could be commented on and shared in this stadium.
The All In Arena was made for mobile. SMG knew the audience were tied to their phones during games so provided a forum to come together in real time with the entire region having access to statistics, facts and receive updates to help them cheer on their new favourite team – all at the very moment the games were being played. It was the ultimate second screen experience.
The conversations generated in the arena formed massive user generated content, and by using Twitter, Adidas was able to generate thousands of brand owned conversations. Each interaction earned fans points towards prizes from Adidas and the grand prize - a trip to the country of the winning team.
Adidas achieved 66% SOV vs 34% Nike (Source: Sysomos) and 110,000 mentions of #allinarena contributed 10% of total global tweets.
The All In Arena brought a total of 1.3 million visitors, 2.2 million page views and 28,000 new Twitter followers to Adidas in just 4 weeks. This was unprecedented compared to any other regular football portal in the region. And as curator of this virtual conversation, Adidas became the most talked about brand at The World Cup, across all social media platforms.
SMG research showed that fans viewed the All In Arena as an “authentic and real” experience as well as improving their knowledge of the game – and in this region, where football knowledge carries great kudos - that is an extraordinary feat!