Adidas Enlists Athletes for Stumps, Jumps and Tricks
The phrase “walking on air” is so simple and so elegant. But athletic shoe marketers face such stiff competition that the category spends un-told millions of dollars every year developing and marketing products that bring the metaphor to life.
So it was for adidas, which needed to create a spectacle to engage young consumers in the launch of the a3 Microride sneaker and to push traffic to Finish Line stores. Only a spot-on live event could really translate the benefit of the shoe’s patented technology, which creates a bouncy feeling.
During the summer and back-to-school shopping seasons, the brand set up a 20-foot-by-20-foot environment inside malls in eight major markets for two-day events. The centerpiece was a professional competitive trampoline, which was put to good use by nationally ranked teenage gymnasts, both boys and girls. The athletes laced up their Microrides and performed jaw-dropping tricks; the height of their jumps helped attract interested crowds. Meanwhile, brand reps stationed around the tramp handed out fliers encouraging teens to visit a nearby Finish Line store to test the shoe for themselves—those who did got branded bouncy balls.
The gymnasts weren’t the only ones jumping: Sales of adidas (up 150 percent) and Microrides in particular (110 percent) spiked during promotional weekends, as 145,000 consumers attended the events.