Football Fans and Enthusiasts - Adidas Vs. Puma

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Adidas Digital Interactions

Adidas has a strong digital media presence with 90% of its annual marketing budget going towards digital campaigns and social media. Adidas CEO, Kasper Rorsted, stated in 2017 that all the company's engagement with the consumer is through digital media. Adidas clearly markets football and soccer to men aged between 18-34 using a consistent style of writing, design, and interaction with its consumers, across all digital media platforms.


  • Adidas has a dedicated YouTube channel for football which currently has 1.44 million subscribers.
  • On opening the channel a promotional video for the recently re-launched predator boot automatically starts playing. The video is created in the style of a football game. This immediately appeals to football fans, many of whom are men aged 18-34. The players in the video are young men and the style it is shot in is dynamic and fast-moving.
  • The channel includes videos promoting new products, interviews with famous footballers, videos highlighting the Tango Squad community and app, and playlists with exclusive content.
  • Within the community tab on the channel, consumers have the opportunity to interact with the company by commenting on and liking posts. Almost all posts made by the channel have received over 600 likes and multiple comments, with many posts receiving much higher levels of interaction. Here, Adidas posts GIFs and images that relate less to their products and more to the sport generally, often commenting on matches and players and asking for consumer opinions.
  • The number of views a video receives on the channel varies depending on the content. Videos featuring star players receive thousands of views, whereas videos promoting key campaigns and products receive millions of views. This is in part due to the promotion of these videos on other channels as well as Adidas' use of dark social.


  • Adidas has an official Facebook page dedicated to football, however, it is significantly out-of-date. The latest posts on the page are from 2018.
  • Adidas also has an official Facebook page for the company as a whole, however, this is also out-of-date. The latest post is dated March 2018, and the post before that is dated October 2017.
  • Statistics show that the largest demographic currently using Facebook is between 18-49 years old. However, research shows that less and less young people are using Facebook, suggesting that the future of digital marketing to the younger generation will focus on alternative social media platforms like Instagram.
  • The style of past posts on Adidas' Facebook pages is consistent with that of their Instagram and website. The posts predominately feature men and use colors and graphics that are directed more towards a male aesthetic.


  • Adidas has a dedicated Instagram account for football and soccer. The account features promotional photography, video clips, stories from professional footballers and offers on products. The account currently has 31.8 million followers.
  • Many of the posts feature red and blue, two colors that have been shown to appeal to men more than women.
  • Over the last 24 months, 234 posts out of a total of 312 feature men between the ages of 18-34.
  • A brief review of user posts where Adidas Football has been tagged suggests that the majority of posts are made by men aged between 18-34.

Company Website

  • The home page on the Adidas website features two men aged between 18-34 posing with a woman, all wearing football kit.
  • The page dedicated to football uses black, white and gold with sharp lines and contrasting images. The featured images are of men aged 18-34 wearing football kit and sporting active and athletic poses.
  • Of the 48 product listings under the 'shop all football' heading when no filters are applied, 1 listing is for women's clothing, 7 are for children and youth, 4 listings are for non-gender-specific items and 36 listings are for men's clothing and boots.
  • Of all the products listed on the football section of the website, 112 are for men, 17 are for women and 8 are for children or youth.
  • On the web page for soccer, the trend continues, with images of young men and a dynamic, visually contrasting style using sharp angled lines creating a masculine aesthetic. Colors used include yellows, golds, black and white, which are all colors that appeal to men more than they appeal to women.

Tango App

  • Tango Squads is Adidas' community platform. It uses Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp to interact with young football players.
  • Tango Squad FC and the Tango App gives people the opportunity to interact with friends, show off skills and compete to unlock rewards.
  • With dedicated community apps said to improve brand sales by up to 5%, the Tango Squad app turns followers into brand ambassadors.
  • By utilizing a football fan's competitiveness and eagerness to prove themselves among their peers, Adidas has created an app that not only engages their audience but turns that competitiveness into sales. They have done this by linking success in the app to special offers and deals on Adidas products.

There Will Be Haters Campaigns

  • The 'There Will Be Haters' campaign was clearly marketed to men aged between 18-34. This is evident throughout the bold marketing material.
  • The promotional video, which was shared via social media and YouTube, is fast-paced and features dynamic music and a voice-over by a young male with a South East London accent. The voice-over script is clearly directed towards young men with lines including, 'they hate that you score all the goals...and get all the girls'.
  • The video directs consumers to the company's social media campaign with the use of a hashtag and a button calling people to subscribe.
  • The promotional photography for the campaign features doodle type illustrations and pop art-inspired graphics.

Predator Boots Campaign

  • The 'Predator' campaign, used to re-launch the company's iconic predator football boot in 2019, featured David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, two of the world's most celebrated footballers and arguably idols for many young men.
  • The promotional photography and graphic design features black and red as the two dominant colors and has a very masculine aesthetic.
  • The campaign utilized digital media by sharing content across social media channels as well as on YouTube and the company website. Content included Facebook Live and Facebook 360 images, Instagram Stories, Snapchat Filters, and Lenses.
  • Adidas used the promoted video options available on Twitter to reach its target demographic directly. They placed in-stream ads on sport-related content, linked to their website using the Video Website Card and utilized the First View format on the launch day to raise awareness of the campaign.
  • Research shows that in 2019 73% of millennials use their phones to shop online, therefore, all content created for the Adidas campaign was adapted to be viewed on different devices, including mobile phones.

Research Strategy

We used the company website, social media platforms and industry reports to evaluate and understand Adidas' digital marketing strategy. We then focused specifically on their football and soccer marketing material. Through reviewing social media posts and interactions, industry analysis, company strategy reports, and marketing content, we were able to gain insights on the impact of the company's digital media strategy, and evaluate how the company uses this to market football and soccer to men aged between 18-34.
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Puma Digital Interactions

Puma has been promoting soccer to 18-34 males through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram for the past 18-24 months. Most of the content features professional players/ models within the demographic, while a few campaigns featured elements from video games, vlogging, and Instagram filters. The descriptions, data, and links/ screenshots of their efforts on each channel are discussed below.


  • Puma has a Facebook account dedicated solely to soccer that is liked and followed by over 2.9 million users. The account has made close to 75 posts in the past 18 months.
  • Most of the posts feature photography/ videos promoting their products, stories/ interviews of brand ambassadors and posts commemorating recent achievements of football clubs that carry Puma products.
  • The top post on Facebook featured Manchester City Football Club manager, players and depicted fans wearing their latest kit made by Puma. The post received over 55,000 reactions, 1,000 comments, and 2,500 shares.
  • The account also featured a notable series of videos for the HACKED campaign, each featuring a professional soccer player including Luis Suarez, Sergio Agüero, Marco Reus, and Antoine Greizman.
  • The series features elements of retro video games such as gold coins. It depicts the soccer players overcoming outrageous scenarios by wearing Pumas HACKED series of boots.
  • The posts received over 1,600 reactions, 64 comments, and 95 shares on average. Screenshots featuring the campaign can be found here.


  • Puma's official YouTube channel features content for all of its product lines as it does not have a separate YouTube channel dedicated solely to soccer. However, they have created playlists focused on promoting soccer.
  • One of the notable contents produced was the series of videos for the POWER UP campaign, each featuring a professional soccer player including Luis Suarez, Sergio Agüero, Marco Reus, Romelu Lukaku, and Antoine Greizman. The series fuses soccer with elements of virtual/ video games and used the tagline of “Unlock New Levels”. It depicts the soccer players as playable game characters that harnessed the power of Puma boots as a power-up in the campaign.
  • The videos garnered close to 730,000 views and 234 likes on average. Screenshots featuring the campaign can be found here.
  • Another notable campaign is the Football Next-Gen series, launched in March 2019. The series comprised 3 separate videos that each featured a new talent under 20 years of age such as Cody Gakpo, Rabbi Matondo, and Reinier Jesus.
  • The series introduces each of the talent’s achievements in the sports and captures their experience receiving, unboxing and trying out Puma’s soccer boots. The videos are close to 5 minutes long and feature the talents vlogging their experience with the product.
  • On average, each video garnered close to 50,000 views and 362 likes. Screenshots featuring the campaign can be found here.


  • Puma has a separate Instagram account dedicated to soccer. The account currently has 3.5 million followers and has made close to 260 posts in the past 18 months. The majority of the posts feature promotional photography, moments of practice and playing of professional footballers, and video clips of commercials.
  • Close to a third of the posts are in video format and only 8 of the latest 100 posts predominantly featured female footballers or models.
  • According to Ninjalitics, the average Instagram post from the account receives 75,000 likes, 223 comments, and 464,125 views.
  • Recent top video post featured professional soccer player Antoine Greizman trying out Puma’s Instagram Spark filter. The post garnered 1.37 million views and 340 comments.
  • Another recent post with the most likes featured a billboard welcoming soccer player Antoine Greizman to his new team, Barcelona Football Club. The post received over 333,000 likes and 109 comments.


  • Puma also has an active Twitter account dedicated solely to soccer followed by over 633,000 users.
  • The account has made close to 50 posts in the past month alone. Most of the posts feature promotional material such as photography & videos of their products and recent progress of football clubs and players that carry Puma products.
  • The top post for the past month featured an illustration of the professional player Kevin-Prince Boateng performing a flip. The post received over 940 retweets and 11,200 likes.


Research Strategy

We've taken the view that most of Puma's promotional content for soccer are targeted towards the 18-34 year old male demographic since they mostly feature 18-34 year old male models, actors, and brand ambassadors/ professional players. Also, research has shown that fans of professional soccer league are twice as likely to be male rather than female and that close to 60% of them are aged 18-34 years. While Puma creates marketing content that features female players/ models, we've excluded such content from the research. We've also prioritized highlighting campaigns and content that feature elements such as video games, vlogging, and Instagram filters that are commonly associated with demographics below the age of 34.

From Part 01