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SBD Global/August 17, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Adidas Reaps Publicity Through Team GB Kit, Clothing Of Young Royals

Prince William, right, and wife Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, sport Team GB shirts with an adidas logo while watching track cycling Aug. 2.
With adidas' logo on Team GB's sports kits during the London Games, the sportswear company was featured on newspaper front pages daily, which one analyst called "incredible publicity," according to Rupert Neate of the London GUARDIAN. Last summer, TV bulletins and newspaper front pages were "plastered with photos of youths looting shops wearing adidas hoodies and trackies." This summer, adidas was again featured on the front pages almost every day for two weeks. This time, on the sports kit of Team GB's Olympic Gold Medalists, and "the odd royal or three." Market research firm Mintel Brand Analyst Imogen Power said of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry wearing Team GB polo shirts prominently featuring adidas' logo, "It is a real coup. Incredible publicity." PR Branding Expert Mark Borkowski said, "They just lucked out really with the royals. The young royals are probably a bit more relaxed about branding -- 30 years ago there would have been an uproar [if a member of the royal family was seen wearing branded clothing in public]." However, Borkowski also said that "the athletes are more important than the royals." Borkowski: "A year ago they [adidas] had front pages with every rioter wearing their clobber going in and nicking stuff, now they have all these heroes wearing their gear. It is an amazing turnaround." It only cost adidas £127M ($200M) over five years to be a London Games "tier one" sponsor, according to Mintel -- a sum seen "as a bargain in the industry" (GUARDIAN, 8/16).
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