CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK - Adidas ready to take on rivals Karen Yates finds out why Andy Town is pleased with the current football mania.

Poor Andy Town. His life has revolved around the World Cup for more than a year and he’s gearing up to spend a staggering pounds 7 million on advertising around the tournament. But he will only be in France to see one live game.

Poor Andy Town. His life has revolved around the World Cup for more

than a year and he’s gearing up to spend a staggering pounds 7 million

on advertising around the tournament. But he will only be in France to

see one live game.



Mind you, it is the final ...



Town, 32, is the UK communications director of Adidas, one of the 12

official sponsors of this year’s World Cup. So it was tempting to ask

him straight off how difficult it is to achieve stand-out among all the

soccer clutter this summer. This elicits a hollow laugh. ’Let’s put it

this way. I asked my agency to make up a reel of all the football ads on

TV this summer and they told me to ’get real’ - there’s more than 60 of

them,’ he says.



We shouldn’t underplay Adidas’s own contribution to this totals, since

Leagas Delaney has already produced three Adidas commercials for the

World Cup. Plus, of course, Town has negotiated a ground-breaking deal

with the Sun to run ads nearer to the sports pages than anyone else on

key dates, not to mention the poster blitz in London. Isn’t he a bit

worried about spending all this cash but then being swamped by everyone

else’s soccer mania?



’No.’ The reply is confident, and in essence is this: the World Cup is

football’s most important event. Adidas is at the heart of football.



End of story. ’The football supporter is out there watching football

and, as he does, he’ll see Adidas. On the perimeter signs, providing the

balls, kitting out officials, in the papers and on TV. We have the

opportunity to sit inside the event and express our brand through it,’

Town declares.



Town is a bit of a sportsman himself. A misspent youth on the playing

fields of Cambridge, rather than inside its labs, led to a degree in

land economy rather than his original choice of science. But he still

got a job at Saatchi & Saatchi and, four years later, moved to Kraft

Jacobs Suchard.



Then he got the chance to indulge in his passion for sport at

Adidas.



These days Town can be seen windsurfing, mountain climbing and playing

rugby around Adidas’s HQ in Stockport.



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