The effort is the first from Adidas' new U.S. management team led by former Nike executives Rob Strasser and Peter Moore, as well as from Team One/El Segundo, Calif., which is handling Adidas' basketball and soccer advertising on a project basis.
Positioning the shoe in its new ad campaign as the 'insider's' brand for young basketball afficionados, Adidas nixed basketball stars and celebrity spokespeople for colorful ESPN college commentator Dick Vitale. In a campaign titled 'Adventures in Dickland,' Adidas relies on Vitale's frenzied personality and most identifiable trait, which is his vocabulary of self-created basketball lingo. 'To understand the ads, you really have to know the lingo,' said Team One account supervisor Sean Hardwick, an element Adidas hopes will help make the shoes trendy among the teen set.
Adidas is attempting to restore some of the luster that the brand name enjoyed throughout the 1970s and into the early '80s, when the German company was the top-selling athletic footwear brand in the United States. Though the brand has slipped to eighth overall, it continues to rank No. 1 in the soccer market. The company plans to use its soccer reputation as a point from which to launch a major media blitz during this summer's World Cup soccer championship. Adidas executives hope that exposure will reacquaint consumers with all of the company's brands.
While Adidas spent $5 million last year through its former agency Young & Rubicam/Chicago, company executives won't say how much they plan to spend this year.
Adidas' three models of hoop shoes, particularly the new Equipment Boot, are gaining popularity among young teens, according to the Fitness Market Advisor, an industry newsletter published by the FL7 Group. The shoe itself features a removable, brightly-colored neoprene 'sock' that eliminates the need for the two pairs of athletic socks that many athletes wear. Visible from the outside of the shoe, the sock comes in the school colors of several major college teams.
The ads, directed by Jeff Gorman of Johns and Gorman Films/L.A., are running on the major networks, MTV and Black Entertainment Television.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)