Adidas recognises the power of everyday football influencers

At trnd we're avid fans of putting the consumer rather than the brand on stage in marketing. But sometimes, like in this blog series, we're happy to call out a brand doing something great in the spirit of collaboration. This month: Adidas, a brand that recognises the marketing power of regular football enthusiasts.

adidas tango squad

Earlier this year Adidas launched the Tango Squad – a community of socially savvy teenage football enthusiasts and content creators. The service gives fans of the brand a chance to try the latest Adidas gear before anyone else, and gives them access to exclusive content before it's made public in the brand’s social media channels.

The Tango Squad (named after one of their first footballs) is an attempt from Adidas to tackle the fact that 70% of global brand referrals happen on dark social rather than on channels where the brand is able to track what is being said.

Many brands are missing out on the opportunities in areas not measured by web analytics, such as links sent via email, online forums or private instant messenger platforms like WhatsApp, not to mention offline conversations between friends. With the Tango Squad, Adidas is hoping to tap into the potential of these exchanges via the squad members spreading the word about the brand to their peers.

“If it comes as a referral from your mate, you’re much more likely to pick it up than if it comes from a brand,” says Florian Alt, Adidas senior director of global brand communications.

Adidas acknowledges that giving a piece of content to a celebrity influencer might reach a million followers, but the message is far more authentic if you give it to 500 kids, each with 2,000 followers.

The launch of the Tango Squad is part of Adidas’ aim to be a responsive brand, and allows the brand to work on co-creation with consumers. The Squads are based in 15 key cities worldwide, and Adidas hopes to reach 500 members per squad by 2017.

“The kids really appreciate the opportunity to engage with the brand,” says Florian Alt.

Read more: Adidas on redefining influencer marketing through dark social

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