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Countering Conventional Marketing

In the upcoming war for Soccer mindshare, Nike isn’t countering Adidas with conventional marketing. Adidas is set to spend upwards of $200m on ads – some of which sound very creative. Rather than match them dollar-for-dollar, Nike has launched a MySpace style network for Soccer nuts:

The site, which launched on Mar. 15, will roll out to 140 countries in 14 languages. Hoping to make Adidas wonder why it spent all that money on mere ads, Nike is making the site a replica of top social network site (NWS ) for soccer-mad fans to commune with each other over their favorite players and teams, download videos, create discussion groups, and the like. – BusinessWeek

Nice move. Both strategies are probably right. Where one zigs, the other zags.

2 Responses

  1. By james governor on March 29th, 2006 at 2:21 am

    you miss something. adidas has purchased a monopoly position on US networks, as i understand it – so Nike couldnt advertise on TV even if it wanted to. So this is constraint-based marketing, and possibly rather clever example of same.

  2. By Andy Lark on March 29th, 2006 at 7:50 am

    I read that but disregarded it. There is no such thing as a monopoly on US networks – despite BW’s claims. Adidas did do a standard block (like Visa at the Olympics). But Nike could have resorted to parallel buys on alternate channels – and gone of the airwaves and into other media. It is interesting though and reflects the two divergent strategies of advertising giants.

    The sub-text here is that Nike basically fired it’s CEO for not supporting advertising as aggressively as they would have liked. So, twist of irony or maybe his legacy? This contrasts starkly to the likes of P&G who are eschewing traditional media approaches all together.

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