Adidas teams up with FIFA videogame to attract footballers and gamers
How to score two goals with one shot: With the launch of the Adidas GMR connected insole, the German sport group is directly targeting both football fans and videogame aficionados. The idea is simple: on-the-pitch performance will enable footballers to earn points valid in the world of virtual football, for example on the FIFA Mobile videogame by EA Sports.
Adidas first sponsored an e-sports team in 2017, with Team Vitality in France. At the time, e-sports were beginning to boom, and in a short period of time videogames have become the new battleground for consumer brands. More specifically, through e-sports tournaments, attracting both scores of gamers and millions of spectators. In late 2018, a survey by consultancy firm PriceWaterhouseCooper found that e-sports have huge growth potential, even higher than the world’s most popular sport, football. According to the survey, the e-sports market was worth $805 million in 2018, and was expected to reach $1.58 billion in 2022.
Adidas has decided to move beyond sponsorships, targeting all players with a tool offering a double advantage. The majority of young footballers love to try to replicate on the pitch their favourite stars’ feats, and also doing the same on their game consoles. The new connected-play tool developed by Adidas relies on Jacquard by Google sensors, which detect the insole wearer’s running speed and football striking power.
“Adidas GMR lives at the intersection of gaming and the material world because that’s where the audience is,” said Moritz Kloetzner, director of business development at Adidas Football. “By exploring and challenging traditional approaches to product development, alongside Jacquard by Google and EA Sports’s FIFA Mobile, we have been able to equip players with a whole new way to use their creativity for the betterment of their sport.”
To promote the use of GMR, which is priced at €34.99, Adidas has launched a series of challenges. The first is ‘Master Finisher’, which asks players to shoot 40 times from the penalty spot in the course of a week, in order to gain credits and skill boosts on their FIFA mobile games.
A technology investment like this underlines the challenges faced by major brands as they strive to make their mark in the videogames sector. Adidas said it wants “to become the leading sport outfitter in the world of gaming.” The fight for supremacy in this new arena is set to be intense. Both Puma and Nike are multiplying their investments, especially in Asia, to become the go-to brand for e-sports stars.
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