To launch their new adiZero uniform system featuring a disruptive impact camo print and short sleeve jerseys, adidas teamed up with Archrival for a most unusual product launch during March Madness. With a number of adidas sponsored teams in the Big Dance, the opportunity was ripe to engage fans in a whole new way on social and own the tourney buzz.
Introducing the adiZero Impact Camo! A completely untraditional look for the traditional tournament teams, the new tourney style was made to polarize their fan bases and cause an energetic stir around the brand. Revealing the new look to the teams had to be done on social, and teased in a way that kept fan bases clamoring to see more.
With a week leading up to the tournament, we gave fans an exclusive chance to reveal the hotly anticipated uniforms through their retweets. The more they retweeted our teaser image, the more they were able to reveal bits and pieces of the uniform! For example, to get to the next reveal that image would need to be Retweeted 50 times, then 100 times, etc, until the final image was earned. The blogosphere picked up on the slow reveal, which pushed even more fans to Twitter to speed up the reveal. In the end, the most rabid fan bases earned the first look at the uniforms their teams were taking into the tournament.
Cue the press! Some people loved them (younger audiences), others hated the departure from the traditional (older audiences). From campus media to ESPN, the new uniforms were showing up all over TV screens and social media.
We supported adidas teams throughout the tournament by hijacking the March Madness conversation on Twitter through @adidashoops.
Through active social listening and live-tweeting during every game featuring an adidas team in the tournament, we brought the noise with custom Impact Camo graphics directly tied to in-game action. These were a mix of commentary or reposts of awesome fan tweets we found that truly expressed a strong sentiment. Because of the love/hate on the uniforms, it was all fuel on the fire. Graphics were created on-the-fly, giving diehard fans a powerful sense of recognition as they supported their teams!
In the end, the first week of the tourney was dominated by the polarizing look. Announcers talked about the brand during the game. Social was buzzing. Bloggers were blogging. The age divide was strong, with the brand properly positioned as innovative disrupters and creators. The result? While the campus gear nearly sold out, the real win was with the earned media and attention that allowed the brand to soar during a big cultural sports moment and connect with its youngest fans.