Marketing is the new news

Speed of reaction is becoming as important for sports brands as it is for athletes. Running brands and other sports marketers have been amongst the leaders in a ‘real-time marketing’ trend over the past three years for brands to act more like newsrooms.

gatorade-mission-control-centerGatorade was one of the first. Their Mission Control Center was set up to monitor and react to fast-changing social media sentiment: “Whenever people are talking, clicking, typing about our brand, mission control is there to listen, to create a dialogue, track analytics of websites, campaigns and social media…”

Now Adidas UK is running towards real-time marketing by putting responsive social media teams on standby to react within minutes of key sporting moments. Their ‘moments of celebration and acknowledgment’ strategy sets out to bring in-house and agency staff together to create tactical campaigns around sports fans’ conversations.

The strategy, in development for two years, was finalised following analysis of Adidas’ sponsorship of London 2012, where the brand made last minute updates to tactical communications when Team GB won medals. That approach led to a peak in positive sentiment about Adidas, according to YouGov BrandIndex data.

Now the real-time marketing strategy will be expected to feed directly into sales. Yesterday’s sales figures showed a 6% year-on-year drop in first quarter sales in Western Europe. Adidas recognised that 2012 was always going to be a tough year to follow, and identified innovation as key to growth this year.

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