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Adidas celebrates World Cup social media triumph

The Germans have plenty to celebrate following the dramatic conclusion of Sunday’s World Cup in Brazil, and German sportswear brand Adidas is sharing in the triumph.

With the last whistle blown for the tournament, the brand is counting up its clicks, hashtags and followers, and claims to have trashed its rivals off the pitch on the real time social media marketing front.

Adidas believes that through its ‘all in or nothing’ social media campaign it was the most talked about brand related to the 2014 World Cup, involved in 1.59 million conversations, and that it boosted its followers across all major social media platforms by 5.8 million to around 40 million. It says it was the most viewed sports brand on YouTube during the tournament, with more than 38 million views, and its #allin was the most used brand hashtag, with 917,000 people adding it to online conversations – more than three times as many as any other brand.

The sheer scale of the numbers involved for Adidas - across all platforms including Twitter and Instagram - stand as a testament to the global impact and influence social media campaigns can have for brands, providing instant and direct access to consumers.

Adidas achieved all this through a temporary Rio de Janeiro-based marketing team, comprising 60 international staff, who sought to build closer relationships with fans. Their focus was to engage in real time conversations surrounding the tournament – including celebrating goals alongside fans as they were scored. They also previewed big games by sharing unique content; connected players with fans to provide exclusive and behind-the-scenes content and interviews; and hosted live events streamed to fans via YouTube, including the Adidas Dugout series which featured an interview with David Beckham.

But for the football brand this was not just a clever marketing project on an epic scale; early indications are it also helped drive direct sales. While Adidas is still totting up its sales figures for the second half of the tournament, the brand’s football division recorded sales of £1.6bn between the start of January 2014 and the end of June, compared to £1.2bn for the same period in 2010 which included the South African World Cup.

Adidas may be a brand giant, but the principles are the same. Its campaign proves the potential might of social media as a means not only of raising brand awareness and connecting with customers in a way that builds credibility for a company and long-term loyalty, but also as a channel to boost sales. Many brands are now realising this and are evolving to use their social connections to provide exclusive content to engage and attract ever-distracted shoppers. There is a huge opportunity here for fashion companies, big and small, to pay more attention to their social media presence and so build the power of their brands. Adidas proves that tapping into something shoppers love and can relate to, can work wonders.

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