Adidas Glitch Parisian launch combines influencer and m-commerce power

After London and Berlin, on 17th October Adidas launched the Glitch football boot model in Paris, another of its 'key cities' worldwide. The boots have interchangeable inner shoe and outer skin, with a design which is unique to the French capital. Above all, their launch features an innovative commercial approach, based on exclusivity and on the buzz generated by local influencers.

The Glitch football boot model, with interchangeable inner shoe and outer skin - Adidas

In order to buy a pair of Glitch boots, potential customers must in fact go through a rather unusual process: they must get hold of a code issued by any one of ten or so Instagrammers and Youtubers orbiting around the Parisian football galaxy, and then order the product exclusively via the dedicated Glitch mobile app.

"For us it's crucial to be able to break new ground and not to focus on pro football players alone, but to involve street football too, relying on creative individuals with a special reputation and a highly engaged community, said Marc Makowski, Business Development Director for Football at Adidas. "It gives us a chance to connect directly with people, and this is also a risk, since it's something entirely new for us. Our objective is to turn influencers into sales generators, as well as to broaden our audience and gather more customer information. "

Only a limited number of products will be available for purchase. Will Adidas risk frustrating its customers? "Yes and no. Acquiring the codes will involve a bit of a 'fight', with waits because of high demand, it's important we foster the appetite for these boots through a sense of exclusivity," said Makowski.

Presnel Kimpembe plays for the Paris Saint-Germain football team - Adidas

Among the Parisian influencers picked by Adidas are Vinsky; Jordan Dutouya; the freestylers of S3 Society and specialised website Footpack. Adidas has also chosen a brand ambassador from the professional world, and its web campaign will feature Paris Saint-Germain player Presnel Kimpembe, who grew up in the Paris region. "It was important to choose a footballer with roots in the Paris area, someone close to the local milieu," said Marc Makowski.

Adidas pledges to deliver the boots in four hours to Paris and its immediate outskirts, and in 24 hours to the surrounding region. The model will not be available at Adidas stores, though on 18th November consumers will be able to try Glitch boots at the Forum des Halles store in Paris. "Today's footballers have a great feel for fashion, it's important for them to be in synch with the latest trends. [Adidas] offers them four types of inner shoe and 12 different outer skins, enabling them to change their look and easily adapt to pitch conditions." The starter pack is priced at €299.95, and includes a choice of one inner shoe and two outer skins. 

The Glitch model was first introduced in the UK in November 2016, then in Germany last June. "This is a new launch strategy for Adidas, one market after the other, in highly targeted fashion, said Marc Makowski. We have worked for several months on France and the city of Paris, to gain an understanding of its football channels and influencers, before devising our launch strategy. Social media advertising needs this kind of advance planning: its visibility can be extremely high and there is direct interaction with customers, while traditional advertising channels only allow us a very brief exposure period."

Translated by Nicola Mira

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