Adidas Golf Wants You to Know That Golf Is a Serious Sport

New creative agency to retool messaging

Adidas is shifting its marketing back to being more performance-oriented. @adidasGolf/Twitter

Golf is more than just a pastime for Adidas Golf. It is a sport with real athletes, and the brand has tapped a new creative agency to help retool its work and tell that story. 

San Francisco-based Venables Bell & Partners will take the reins from Kastner & Partners, which has worked on the brand for over three years. 

"We are shifting to be more aligned with the Adidas brand and the idea that golf is a sport, and golfers are athletes," said Melissa Ziegler, global brand marketing director for Adidas Golf. "So, we wanted to find a new agency partner that could really help us bring that to life." 

The company, which spent nearly $45 million in media last year, according to Kantar Media, did not use a consultant for the search. Ten agencies were vying for the brand's business, and incumbent Kastner & Partners was among the six finalists. Carat in Los Angeles runs the brand's strategy and media-buying business. 

"We had never really taken the perspective of golf as a pastime," said Ziegler. "And when I look around, every other golf company has caught up to this idea of golf as a sport. You've seen Nike do it, you've seen Under Armour get really aggressively into the space, even more traditional golf brands, like a FootJoy, are starting to make products that are more athletically inclined." 

Ziegler explained that as the larger Adidas brand has shifted its marketing back to being sports and performance-oriented, she wanted to "make sure that our golf work was aligning with those principles, moving forward." 

Venables Bell & Partners' work with Reebok and Audi helped demonstrate to Adidas Golf that the shop could position its brand as a challenger and, eventually, a leader in the space. 

Will McGinness, partner and ecd of Venables Bell & Partners said, "Golf and Adidas together—we couldn't be more excited. We're looking forward to celebrating the Adidas love of sport within the world of golf." 

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