Adidas’ Sales Meeting Takes Cues from the NBA
Four hundred fifty adidas North American sales and product-marketing staff gathered at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center for a meeting aimed at delivering the company’s strategic message in a way that was big on substance and light on fluff. As part of that challenge, adidas wanted to inspire attendees to challenge the status quo.
How’d they do it? Pulling out all the stops for a meeting that expertly pulled in cues from an NBA player’s gameday experience. Just a taste, from one day of the meeting: Following a tailgate-style breakfast (with catering staff in NBA team colors), event bouncers directed participants into a ballroom for the meeting. Faux scalpers, hanging out near the entrance, told attendees about tickets to the second half of the game, while “vendors” offered pennants, t-shirts and cotton candy from their carts. Attendees grabbed “game programs” (actually the meeting agenda) from a ticket window, a large external speaker broadcast meeting-relevant “game coverage,” and cheerleaders performed.
As participants entered through a stadium tunnel-like entrance, mock TV reporters interviewed the company’s executive vp-sales about his plans to motivate the team. The meeting room itself was recast as a massive NBA locker room, complete with several banks of lockers with team jerseys hanging in them, mock injury reports and travel schedules, Gatorade stations and laundry bins. PowerPoint presentations, shown on plasma monitors, were designed to look like locker-room white boards.
The initial presentation was scripted along the lines of a halftime pep talk, tying back to the brand’s “Impossible is Nothing” tagline. In post-event reports, 86 percent of attendees said it was the most valuable sales meeting they had attended for gaining new knowledge about the breadth of the adidas product lines.