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During the London 2012 Olympics, sports brand Adidas has been working with UK free paper Metro. The partnership consisted of creating cover wraps for each day of the Games, featuring portraits of the Team GB athletes by a selection of artists and illustrators in a different artistic style. The project was conceived by ad agency Sid Lee, one of the top five performing agencies in 2011 according to Forbes. The campaign ran for the 17 days of the Games, and Metro readers were encouraged to take a copy of each cover wrap into a local Adidas store to pick up a limited edition print of that day’s illustration.

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The athlete featured each day would be coinciding with the days they would be taking part in events. Reportedly worth £2.25m, running cover wraps around the daily free newspaper Metro on every day of London Olympics made the Adidas project the largest newspaper advertising deal of the 2012 Games. The brand is an official sponsor of the games, and said that the deal marks its biggest ever print ad campaign; Nick Craggs, Uk Marketing Director at Adidas said, “A consecutive cover wrap of this scale has never been done before, and demonstrates our commitment to driving stand-out as a partner of London 2012″. Kenny Campbell, editor of the Associated Newspapers freesheet said “For the Olympics, Metro will be publishing seven days a week, so we wanted stand-out.” (via guardian.co.uk).

Adidas1.jpgJessica Ennis by Ian Wright

The illustrators featured in the project include Ian Wright, Joshua Budich, Magnus Voll Mathiassen and Paul Willoughby. Sid Lee is based in Montreal and has offices in Amsterdam, Paris, Toronto and Austin. The agency was founded in 1993, and has a global reputation for creating and communicating brand experiences through a multi-disciplinary approach. Sid Lee works with Adidas, Cirque du Soleil, Dell, and Red Bull among others; in 2008, Sid Lee was named Global Agency of Record for Adidas Originals. The agency has been key in the brand’s vision to regain some market control from Nike, and in 2011 launched a global campaign for Adidas Originals called Celebrate Originality, which featured pop culture icons David Beckham, Kevin Garnett, and Katy Perry.

adidas.jpgAaron Ramsey by Another Example

In 2012 prior to the games, Adidas and Sid Lee brought together Team GB athletes Victoria Pendleton, Louis Smith and Tom Daley alongside fictional comedian Keith Lemon and the musician example in a ‘Take the Stage” campaign to champion talent. Adidas marketing director Nick Craggs said: “Our new ‘take the stage’ campaign is designed to showcase London but also the talent that exists within Great Britain.”

“Adidas is providing young people across Britain once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that could change their lives. We feel the campaign is a great way to celebrate London and inspire the rest of Britain.” (via campaignlive.co.uk).