Adidas readies its biggest World Cup offensive ever

Adidas readies its biggest World Cup offensive ever
Adidas director of soccer Ernesto Bruce on Tuesday mapped out the company's extensive marketing effort for next month's World Cup soccer tournament.

Cameras in team huddles and the tunnel leading out to the playing field — those are two of the hundreds of ways Adidas will try to squeeze more sales from next month's World Cup soccer tournament, the world's most watched sporting event.

Ernesto Bruce, Portland-based director of soccer for the Germany-based company, on Tuesday mapped out the company's strategy for capitalizing on the tournament, which runs June 12 through July 12 in Brazil.

Adidas is the official athletic supplier for the event.

The company has released a string of new products in recent months, including cleats, more cleats, jerseys and the official match ball.

Now that the products have been unveiled, Adidas is opening up about its marketing strategy, which will revolve around giving fans "unprecedented access" to players and events.

“This World Cup will be the most accessible, the most exciting World Cup for the fans," Bruce said. "And that is going to be through unprecedented access.”

The marketing effort will include signs around the playing fields, clock wraps and a partnership with ESPN in addition to a marketing push across all social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.

"A fan will not be able to watch this World Cup without seeing Adidas," Bruce said.

The effort kicked off over the weekend with a new video that includes the Adidas mantra "All in or nothing" and a new song by Adidas endorser Kanye West.

Adidas hopes the World Cup effort gives the entire Adidas brand a lift. It will connect its efforts to all of its product lines, including fashion and running. The black and white pattern of the cleats Adidas athletes will wear during the tournament— known as Battle Pack — can be purchased on casual and running shoes.

The black and white pattern on the cleats is meant to refer to the "All in or nothing" tagline.

“Color is what everybody’s doing," Bruce said. "We decided to have a simple and clear story. It's all in or nothing, as our campaign tagline says, which basically means it’s black or white. You win or you go home.”

Adidas is also banking on Lionel Messi, a player on Argentina's national team.

Bruce predicted Argentina will win the tournament and Messi will be named the tournament's most valuable player.

"Messi is going to go down as the world's best player ever," Bruce said.

Messi has a signature Adidas soccer cleat.

The World Cup is a key battleground in the global sporting goods industry.

Adidas is forecasting nearly $2.8 billion in soccer sales this year. Nike had $1.9 billion in soccer sales in its most recent fiscal year.

As the official athletic sponsor, Adidas will have a marketing edge going into the tournament because its advertising can ring stadiums and it supplies the match ball.

Nike, however, holds an advantage on the field. It sponsors 10 of the teams, including host team Brazil.

Nine teams will wear Adidas.

The Portland Business Journal is a KATU.com news partner.

More from our partner: Take a walk through Oregon's storied beer history