Brand Slam: Adidas versus Nike

With Adidas' new Oxford Street flagship store opening and promising to be a 'home for creativity', Campaign looks at what the brand and its rival Nike have to offer when it comes to experiential.

Adidas: 'Creator base' combined music and football
Adidas: 'Creator base' combined music and football

Adidas

Event structure 

The German sports brand has worked with agencies including Jam3 and Jack Morton, alongside partnerships with design company Parley and online fashion hub Hypebeast.

Social footprint 

Adidas' UK Twitter account has 834,800 followers, its Facebook page has just under 36.7 million "likes" and its @adidaslondon Instagram account has 1.6 million followers.

Recent campaigns

In 2018, Adidas embraced World Cup fever with its biggest-ever UK football activation, the "Creator base", which reflected the brand's "Creativity is the answer" World Cup campaign. Taking place in London's Shoreditch, it featured a football pitch, live music, a creator workshop and live radio broadcasts, along with a World Cup screening room and a space where people could play sports video games.

Adidas swopped football for skateboarding in October 2018 when it devised a "street-level" immersive skateboarding experience in Shanghai, China. This was part of the brand's outreach activity, Das Days. The activation, which ran over nine days, featured live music performances and exhibitions. A group of skateboarders also participated in a day-long skateboarding exursion around the city, before being treated to a house party experience. 

Latest campaign

Adidas turned a newsstand into an immersive experience to celebrate the launch of its newest sneaker range, Ozweego. The activation, which took place in New York in August, saw fans led to an undisclosed location via cryptic social media messages. Behind the newsstand lay a hidden door; participants entered into a secret space and were then immersed into the future – the year 2048, with the help of wall projections. It celebrated "50 years" of the range and visitors had a chance to bag a pair of trainers before they went on general sale. 

Nike 

Event structure 

Nike has worked with agencies including XYZ and Wieden & Kennedy.

Social footprint

Nike's Twitter account has eight million followers, while @Nikelondon has 437,900 followers. Its UK Facebook page has just under 33.3 million "likes" and its Instagram account has 776,000 followers.

Recent campaigns

At "Nike strike night", which aimed to celebrate the launch of the Nike Hypervenom 3 football boot, the brand gathered six of Europe's top strikers for a knock-out competition to crown the best goal-scorer, with results measured by a full-size, fully interactive LED goal. The event was attended by hundreds of fans at a secret location and screened live on Facebook.

Nike partnered Foot Locker to offer sneaker fans the chance to get their hands on a coveted assortment of Nike and Air Jordan products and services. The goods were showcased at a pop-up housed in a former bank on Wall Street in New York. Called "Sneakeasy", the setting was inspired by the secretive nature of a speakeasy. Visitors were paired with a staff member taking them through the experience; goods bought were dispensed via a door that looked and operated like a safety deposit box, in shoeboxes covered in gold foil with hidden UV ink designs and sealed with a notary sticker.

Latest campaign 

For this year's Women's World Cup, Nike partnered JD Sports to host a female-focused event with DJs, masterclasses and a Women's World Cup screening. The festival, which focused on female empowerment, took place in Paris on 28 June and was the third in a series of "I am JD" events.

A similar event – but one that was only open to women – took place in London on 16 June. It featured football-inspired workouts led by Nike trainers, football coaching clinics from Football Association coaches and seven-a-side tournaments. 

Campaign says

The "Nike strike night" campaign was a groundbreaking activation, turning a live event into a cultural talking point. While Adidas has yet to produce an activation with similar results, its new flagship store on London Oxford Street, which claims to be the most technologically advanced of all its stores, is set to deliver standout experiences.