Adidas Taps Squad of Female Athletes in New Global Campaign

Created by 72andSunny, Series Continues Trend of Female-Centric Marketing From Sports Brands

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Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki is part of a new female-centric campaign from Adidas.
Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki is part of a new female-centric campaign from Adidas. Credit: Adidas
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Adidas has created another campaign about creating. The sportswear brand unveiled a new series of films, called "I'm Here to Create" that features female athletes. The global campaign is part of the Sport16 initiative, and follows "Create Your Own," a series last summer that urged athletes to choose their own paths.

The new commercials will air globally with 15-and 30-second spots in over 50 countries, during popular events such as the Grammys and the Oscars. Each spot features a different female sports icon, like tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, WNBA All-Star Candace Parker and supermodel Karlie Kloss, discussing her creative moments while engaging in various activities such as surfing, boxing, mothering or even meditating while perched in the middle of city traffic on a median. The first TV spot will debut this weekend.

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"We really looked at this year as a moment in time to say we want to celebrate athletes who are reshaping the traditional views of sports through creativity," said Lia Vakoutis, Adidas' senior director of global communications. "We have this incredible squad of women with a really diverse group of storylines that are relatable to all athletes."

Adidas worked with 72andSunny on the new campaign. The Los Angeles-based agency won the Adidas global account last March; its "Create Your Own" initiative was the first creative work for the athletic brand, which had previously worked with 180 L.A.

"Sports and sports marketing have long celebrated effort and potential. But there is a third, less talked about element that makes great athletes -- creativity," said Jason Norcross, partner, and executive creative director at 72andSunny. "We think the idea of using creativity to reimagine and reshape yourself however you want will really resonate with women because when you look around the world, that's what so many women in sport are already doing."

Of course, Adidas isn't the first sports brand to recognize the value of including women in its marketing. Both Nike and Under Armour have recently touted campaigns with familiar female faces such as Carli Lloyd and Gisele Bundchen as part of an effort to bolster sales in the women's category. Indeed, earlier this year, Adidas introduced a new running sneaker, the Pure Boost X, that is just for women.

"We are obsessed with the versatile female athlete," said Nicole Vollebregt, head of women's at Adidas, in a statement. "In 2016, we will consistently roll out women-focused activations, partnerships, products and events that will allow us to further connect with this athlete on a personal level."

Yet the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based brand still lags Nike in terms of market share. Adidas commands 6% of the North American athletic footwear market, compared to Nike's 68%, according to reports. That could change with the arrival of a new CEO, Kasper Rorsted, for the German brand this October. Mr. Rorsted is currently CEO of German consumer products company Henkel and is expected to strengthen Adidas' domestic offerings. For the first nine months of 2015, Adidas reported net sales of $14.1 billion, up 16.7% from the year-earlier period.

Adidas declined to comment on the budget for the new campaign. The company spent $111 million on U.S. measured media in 2014, a 6.3% drop over 2013, according to Ad Age's Datacenter.

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