adidas: Front Row

Igniting the passion of football fans

Go to the profile of Havas helia
Dec 10, 2018

As specialists at driving customer engagement, we know the importance of making a personal connection. But how do you engage on a personal level before you even know who your customers are?

 adidas sponsors some of the world’s biggest football clubs (Manchester United, Real Madrid, FC Bayern Munich, Juventus, AC Milan). Research identified fans saw sponsors as unconnected to them.

So what would make fans see it as more than just a logo on a shirt? How could we build a closer relationship, to get them to opt in to receive comms to form an ecommerce relationship with adidas. How could we contact them?

We listened in on fans conversations pre and post-match. We used unstructured data analysis to identify a very specific audience – the creators, the true influencers within the fan bases. We identified who they followed on line – their influencers, their idols, their Clubs.

We now needed to turn this passion into a commodity.

Our analysis identified that the team’s 3rd jersey (this is the kit the fans can buy and wear) was a highly anticipated feature of the season and that their football club was their passion.

We needed to ignite this passion.

We gave fans the opportunity and the tools to create their team’s 3rd jersey for the coming season

Our campaign proposition was:

Create Don’t Follow = go further, do better, be bold

We developed an online Creator Studio, an intuitive and multi- device experience giving them full creative control. We co-created kit with influencers and artists, to show just how radical the designs could be.

We had a 3 stage comms plan:


Seed news of the contest to selected influencers through dark social, using key channels such as WhatsApp and Snapchat. 


Coordinate with the clubs for simultaneous launch, through club newsletters and adidas football email base and stadium activations. 


Enlisted some of the world’s greatest players, past and present, to comment on their favourite designs, produce their own and voice their support - through adidas and club CRM emails, player social channels and displaying assets on club websites. 

The above activity enabled the fans to get closer to their passion, the Clubs gain more followers and adidas got even closer to the exact audience they wanted, plus a database for adidas to build a deeper engagement with.


  • Unique visits to the creator website :2.8m
  • Designs entered : 211k
  • Votes cast : 250k

Go to the profile of Havas helia

Havas helia

Havas helia is Havas UK's specialist customer engagement and data agency, based out of London and Cirencester. We combine data, technology, strategy and creativity to deliver meaningful engagement between brands and people, across the entire length of the customer journey – from producing a DRTV ad to deploying a marketing automation platform; writing a prospect conversion strategy to penning a shopper engagement plan; or producing direct mail that cuts through to developing a loyalty or reward programme. We work with some of the largest, most influential and most ambitious brands in the world, including adidas, Tesco, Starbucks, Unilever, Diageo, Royal Mail, Volvo, GSK, Heathrow and GWR.

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