Five Players Star in Adidas B-Ball Campaign

Adidas’ new basketball campaign, “It Takes 5ive,” puts a roster of NBA athletes to work promoting its five signature shoes for the just-started season. It’s the first time Adidas has introduced five signature shoes at one time.

The integrated campaign, which culminates at adidasbasketball.com, demonstrates how five players work together on the court. The brand’s key athletes Tracey McGrady, Gilbert Arenas, Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups and Tim Duncan each represent their unique signature products. Garnett was at the center of a campaign launched last season.

“The concept of 5IVE lives in the ideal that the team is stronger than the individual, but it takes five strong individuals to make a strong team,” said Adidas Director of U.S. Brand Marketing Simon Atkins. “‘It Takes 5IVE’ is an anthem for the attitude of ‘we over me,’ a celebration of team that will carry over several months and support the launch of each of the 5IVE’s own signature shoes.”

The initial launch of 5IVE took place online and was then immediately followed by other communications. The Internet is the dominant channel in the campaign, which was created by agency EVB.

“We are using the online component of the campaign to help create a new experience each time a consumer touches the campaign and the brand,” he said. “In order to accomplish this, we have worked with EVB to create a site that is much more than simply a continuation of a theme, but creates an experience that has new information and content for users with every click of their mouse.”

The site includes a signature wall where visitors can add their name, team and position. A section of the site, which sits behind a registration wall, offers video outtakes and footage shot during the course of the campaign.

In addition to the Web site, the campaign has a presence on YouTube. Adidas had front page placement on the day of launch, and the initial :30 spot and additional video clips live on the video-sharing site. Through YouTube, Adidas is holding a “Show us Your 5IVE” contest where users are asked to submit video demonstrating how an entrant’s own basketball team works together.

YouTube came to EVB a few months before work began on the current campaign. EVB CEO Daniel Stein said YouTube wanted to work with them to figure out a way to monetize the site. “Adidas seemed to make sense [with its] video-based content.”

Adidas’ experience with the YouTube component of 5IVE was positive. “In using new opportunities such as video sharing sites it’s important for us to have an idea of what we want to accomplish,” said Atkins. “For the introduction of ‘It Takes 5IVE,” we were able to plant a seed to build a buzz using the online video component.”

In addition to the CGM-based contest on YouTube, the adidasbasketball.com site has a separate one, the “VIP All-Star Experience,” for users who register. A winner will get a trip to the NBA All-Star 2007 game in Las Vegas, and a chance to challenge an Adidas athlete on the Xbox 360.

EVB split creative duties with Chiat Day, which created the TV spots and traditional channels. Carat handled media buying. “The degree of synergy between Chiat Day-driven communications and the EVB online concept has resulted in a consumer experience that seamlessly carries the concept in both advertising and online,” said Atkins.

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