Adidas have recently released ‘Inside the Black Jersey‘ – a 5 part branded content series which provides an intimate portrayal of the team and how they went about clinching the 2008 Grand Slam Tour (beating England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) – only the 3rd time the All Blacks have achieved this feat in their 100 year history. I really like this content, Yes I’m a massive rugby nut and getting an inside look into the lives of some of their great players was great. It’s a great example of how Adidas’ really focus on the mental side of achievement with their communication and really differentiate from Nike, who are more about the external\physical preparations that goes into winning.
Filmed by a small crew of just three women, each 10-minute episode follows a different member of the team, including ‘The Captain’, ‘The Rookie’, ‘The Character’, ‘The Coaches’ and ‘The Playmaker’. The first of these follows skipper Richie McCaw in the lead up to the opening game against Scotland – McCaw discusses how the team’s training schedule is structured, what the boys in black do to unwind as well as what the all black jersey means to him. This, along with the second episode and a promotional trailer for the series, can be viewed at adidas.tv.
It’s interesting to see that Adidas creates content which really gives people an intimate and close up look into the mind of the players and team culture whereas one could argue Nike’s approach to content is to glorify the players via big budget ads around their skills. I like the fact that Adidas really focus on getting inside the head of the player…it’s a nice angle on the ‘Impossible is Nothing’ brand idea. Nike still kicks Adidas’ butt in terms of developing branded utility (eg: Nike Bootcamp training tools) but in my view Adidas is making more real and interesting content for fans.