Manchester United and Adidas’ kit launch generates $2.3m in three days

05.08.15, London – Figures released today by Repucom show that Adidas and Manchester United’s new kit launch has generated over $2.3m in social media value in the first three days of its launch – making it the fastest value generating football kit launch campaign ever, for the sports apparel giant.

The campaign, launched on 1st August 2015, sees Adidas take over from previous kit supplier, Nike, in a $1.2bn (£750m) deal spanning the next 10 years.

The 2015/16 season kit launch using Adidas Football’s #BeTheDifference hashtag has almost delivered the same amount of value in those three days as Real Madrid’s campaign has achieved since launching in June, so far producing over $2.6m in social media value for the brand. The rate at which Manchester United has driven such value back to their new kit supplier is based largely on two factors, club activation and how engaged its social media fan base is.

The club has produced 38 posts relating directly to the kit launch, across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, more than any other Adidas club since June, including AC Milan (16), Chelsea (36) and Real Madrid (28). United’s digital enthusiasm around its renewed partnership with Adidas is matched by a social media fan base which despite being just over half that of Real Madrid’s, (76 million compared to 123 million) – the value generated through fan engagement is set to overtake Adidas’ other clubs.

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Example tweet adidas kit launch

Kit Launches are a fantastic example of ‘Fan Stories’

Max Barnett, Head of Digital UK&I, Repucom said: “This was the big one for Adidas. They needed to show they made the right decision following their world record deal to kit out Manchester United for the next decade. Value generated through social media was always going to play a huge role and the figures so far for the brand are encouraging.

“Kit Launches are a fantastic example of what we call ‘Fan Stories’; content that is related to one theme, delivered across multiple digital platforms. Other examples of pre-season ‘Fan Stories’ include training, tours and transfers. Once the season has started digital activity will focus more on game related ‘Fan Stories’ such as squad announcements, score updates or player interviews. A key trend developing in sponsorship is brands and rights holders collaborating around content. While Kit Launches provide an obvious opportunity for apparel partners, we’re seeing others actively look for their own ‘Fan Stories’ to use as an activation platform.

“The 20-time league champions have been relentless in this campaign and as a result, the club will certainly provide more value through social media than Adidas’ other major clubs this summer. This shows that building an engaged social fan base is key and something other teams around the world should be looking at.”

When the Manchester United figures are included at the end of the campaign, Adidas can expect to have received well over $7 million in media value generated through social media alone and during a period of limited TV exposure for such teams and brands, digital is beginning to make meaningful contributions to the bottom line.


Source: Repucom Digital Services

Base: Repucom has developed our Fan Story approach and social media valuation methodology with the leading rights holders and brands in sports and entertainment. The methodology takes into account social media engagement types; fan location; variables by sport; fan digital behaviour relative to sponsorship; and social sponsorship recall. All valuations taken from non-geo targeted posts and publically available engagement data at the time of writing.

All AC Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid related data captured from respective new Adidas kit launches, (June-July).

All Manchester United related data captured over the first three days of their new Adidas kit launch: 01.08.15-03.08.15.

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Get the insights that matter the most when it comes to monetising digital. Take a look at social media valuation models in action, as four major European football clubs launch new Adidas kits in preparation for the 2015/16 season.

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Digital sponsorship

Repucom Social Media Engagement methodology

When a post is produced in conjunction with a brand, we use a specific methodology called, ‘Repucom Social Media Engagement methodology’.

In its most basic form, this is calculated by taking the volume of each type of engagement per post (retweets, favourites, replies, likes, shares and comments, etc), multiply those specific engagement types by their specific cost per engagement (CPE), and we then apply a ‘fan weighting’ depending on the sport or league in question. In the case of the Manchester United and Adidas kit launch story for example, we took the English Premier League.

This fan weighting is established based on the sponsor recall of the fans of that specific sport, using Repucom’s quarterly global sponsorship market research studies SponsorLink and SportsDNA. (These studies track the changing national and international consumer perceptions and behaviours of people across 33 markets and are utalised by over 1,700 brands and rights holders globally).

In the case of Manchester United’s kit launch, we tracked over three million engagements across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the first three days of the their campaign, which started on 1st August 2015.

That combined with the tracking of other Adidas kit launches, including AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid equated to tracking well over nine million engagements across over 140 posts this summer (June-July).

If you’re interested to know more, you can download our “Monetising Digital” white paper on which looks at Adidas’ kit launches specifically. Or just give Max Barnett, our head of digital in the UK, based in London.