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This Week's Best in Sports Ads: Adidas Creates Change with Parley

The Week’s Best in Sports Advertising

For the Week of January 7 - January 11

This week in sports advertising, Adidas teams up with Parley on a global climate initiative, State Farm assists Chris Paul, and FIFA 19’s World Tour sits down with Odell Beckham Jr. and A$AP Rocky.

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1. Adidas Tennis X Parlay — Play for the Oceans

Athlete / Influencer: Alexander “Sascha” Zverev & Coralie Balmy

Social good was a key component of most marketing strategies in 2018, and you don’t have to look any further than the work Adidas’ main competitor, Nike, has done to see it in action. The emotion evoked by taking a stance allows brands to tell a compelling story and reach an audience beyond traditional enthusiasts.

Adidas’ Play for the Oceans campaign with Parley does just that. This spot, featuring World No. 4 tennis player Alexander Zverev and former Olympic French swimmer turned marine biologist, Coralie Balmy, debuting the Adidas Tennis x Parley clothing range will debut at the Australian Open.

2. Lima 2019 Pan American Games — Let’s All Play

Agency: Grey

The Pan American Games serves as a gathering of cultures from across the Americas and acts as a springboard for young athletes or athletes who come from smaller nations to compete in international competition when they otherwise wouldn’t get the chance.

This year the games will be in Lima, Peru, and in order to share the collective spirit, they enlisted the help of Grey to create an inspiring and inclusive animated short. The film’s story follows the same narrative that the games do, and for brands and entities alike this ability to create goodwill is positive for them.

3. Enterprise — Enterprise Picks Up Martin Brodeur

Agency: Cannonball

Athlete / Influencer: Martin Brodeur

Cannonball has been creating ads with Enterprise for a few years, including spots with Martin Brodeur since 2017. Here, the ability to liken Enterprise’s service with the unique needs of a Hall of Fame goalie makes for a clever spot starring Brodeur and his friend Lord Stanley.

As a sponsor of the NHL, Enterprise has found a niche by tailoring their ads to hockey, but none were better than the documentary, The Road Through Warroad: Hockeytown USA, created with Cannonball about the 1,800 person town of Warroad, Minnesota that has produced a player for every gold medal-winning U.S. Hockey team.

4. EA Sports FIFA — FIFA 19 World Tour

Athlete / Influencer: Odell Beckham Jr. and A$AP Rocky

With over 260 million copies sold since its beginning in 1993, FIFA is by far EA Sports’ most popular franchise. That kind of reach, and the game’s continual ability to capture the imagination of gamers and fans who otherwise have no interest in soccer has been key to the title’s success.

For their 2019 version of the game, EA Sports took it on a world tour and had star players and celebrities playing with and against each other. In this spot, Odell Beckham Jr. and A$AP Rocky face off while discussing how soccer and the game has influenced their lives.

5. State Farm — Deer

Agency: DDB

Athlete / Influencer: Chris Paul & Oscar Nunez

State Farm has used the star power of athletes Chris Paul, James Harden, and Aaron Rodgers to show how valuable their agents can be when life goes wrong. By taking something as boring as insurance and putting a comedic spin on it State Farm and DDB have been able to create countless memorable campaigns.

In this spot Chris Paul, a surprisingly solid bowler, sees things take a turn when he comes across a deer. The deer does its damage on the paint, among other things, not to be confused with a certain Milwaukee Buck who does damage in the paint.

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