Adidas Issues an RFP for Its Performance Running Line

By Patrick Coffee 

Athletic wear brand Adidas has launched a review for the running division of its Performance product lines, according to three people with direct knowledge of the business.

These sources told AgencySpy the creative RFP went out in recent weeks and that it concerned a pitch for project work promoting Adidas running products. At this time it is unclear which agencies were invited, but all sources said Adidas’ primary AORs 72andSunny and Johannes Leonardo are not involved and that their relationships with the client will not be directly affected.

The company appears to be managing the process internally.

72andSunny replaced Omnicom’s 180 as global AOR for the Adidas Performance business in 2015. That work has encompassed all global efforts related to the main brand and its seven business units, which include Running, Football, Tennis, etc. Johannes Leonardo picked up the Originals apparel division in a 2014 review and has since made a string of ads in the “Original is Never Finished” campaign.

The business, as our sources explained it, is somewhat convoluted, with a regularly rotating roster of agencies assigned to handle projects outside the scope of work assigned to 72 and Johannes Leonardo.

An Adidas spokesperson declined to comment. Representatives for both AORs deferred to the client.

Adidas spends around $300 million on paid media globally each year, according to 2018 estimates from Kantar Media. Again, the size of this running brief is unclear, as is the matter of whether the subsequent assignment will be U.S. or global in nature.

The latest marketing news from Adidas running concerned a cross-promotion with Game of Thrones that features models tied to the HBO drama’s various heroes and villains. See the House Lannister Ultraboost option here.

And check out the latest spot for Ultraboost 19, which went live last week.

Additional reporting by Lindsay Rittenhouse.