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 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
Then he got the chance to indulge in his passion for sport at
These days Town can be seen windsurfing, mountain climbing and playing
rugby around Adidas’s HQ in Stockport.