Adidas/Nike: Let the Games Begin

Adidas kicked off the year with a fresh new approach, expanding outside of its soccer comfort zone with a spot that focused around golf. The commercial featured golf shoes fitted with Adidas’ Boost technology that is already featured in other Adidas footwear. Precisely two weeks later, Nike released its first commercial of 2015, also golf-related, aptly titled “Why Change?” and featured its Vapor Driver golf club. The ad brought an added dose of star power –including Charles Barkley, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy – to the course.

Adidas Golf NikeUnsurprisingly, Adidas and Nike are spending most of their advertising dollars and placing most of their TV airings for their golf-focused spots on the Golf Channel. Since its first airing Feb. 5, Adidas’ spot has been seen on the Golf Channel 32 times. However, Nike’s commercial made 73 appearances on the Golf Channel after being out for only a matter of days – more than double the airings Adidas managed in three weeks. Clearly, Nike has a more competitive drive with an investment of triple the estimated TV spend over Adidas.

Adidas’ bold new marketing strategy has the world-famous soccer brand venturing across the field into a variety of other sports. As both brands are upping their advertising game for a new active season, we ask ourselves “Will Nike strike back each time Adidas shows us it can do something different?” Whether Nike feels its turf has been encroached, there’s little doubt the Portland, Oregon swoosh is watching the crosstown three-stripe rival very closely. After all, “Why Change?”

UPDATE: As of March 4, 2015, Nike’s “Why Change?” aired on Golf Channel 88 times (72.1 percent of total national airings) and ESPN 34 times (27.9 percent of total national airings). Adidas’ “Bringing Boost to Golf” aired on Golf Channel 34 times (82.9 percent of total national airings) and NBC seven times (17.1 percent of total national airings).

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