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Adidas / Quarterback To The Island

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Sportswear brand offers an island as a prize to the athlete who beats the 40-yard dash record

Adidas has offered to buy an NFL prospect an island, if he can beat running back Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record in a pair of Adidas adizero 5-Star 40 cleats.

The athletes will compete at the NFL Scouting Combine, a week-long showcase (between 28 February and 6 March) where college players have their physical and psychological abilities evaluated by NFL coaches.

If anyone beats the 4.24 second record, which was set by Johnson in 2008, he will receive an island worth up to $1m, on the condition that he signs an endorsement deal with the brand before the start of the 2017-2018 NFL season.

If more than one athlete beats the record, they won’t all get islands, instead the $1m will be split between them. Adidas also has the right, under the contract, to insist on a $1m payment instead of an island.

The Scouting Combine can be viewed by the public online or via the NFL TV network. Johnson, the 40-yard dash record holder, is also sponsored by Adidas.

 

Contagious Insight / 

Powerful PR / Offering an island up as a prize is a pretty ostentatious thing to do, and is bound to get a lot of attention. Adidas offered prospective pro-players $1m in 2016 if they could break the record, and even though the island would be worth the same – or even less – it has more PR value.

Even if no one breaks the record, Adidas will still be part of the conversation around the NFL Scouting Combine, and its shoes will be associated with the fastest college football players in America. The adizero 5-Star 40 cleats are being marketed as the ‘lightest cleat in football’, so this event will also bring focus to the product’s differentiating quality.

Speedy influence / If someone does beat the record, not only will Adidas be able to brag through its association with the feat, it will also have a ready-made brand ambassador. The winning athlete must agree to endorse Adidas for the 2017-2018 football season and, if he has just managed to run the 40-yard dash in under 4.24 seconds, he’s going to be an exciting prospect.

This means that Adidas has the chance to be linked to a potential football star from the start of his career, a player that many non-professional players would look up to and admire – and that kind of publicity is probably worth an island.

 

 

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.

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