Adidas is to shift its global advertising account from incumbent ad agency 180 Amsterdam to the Canadian based agency Sid Lee. It is understood that the account transfer has taken place without a pitch.
With a relationship that began back in 1998 and with 180 Amsterdam winning lead creative duties in 2002, 180 had effectively held the Adidas account for the past 12 years.
(180 has shared the Adidas account with Omnicom-owned TBWAWorldwide since 2002. Omnicom Group itself has a majority stake in 180 Amsterdam.)
This makes the partnership between 180 and Adidas one of the longest running in sports industry advertising. 180 is currently finalising some projects for Adidas. In the coming months, Sid Lee shall pick up all agency work.
Montreal based Sid Lee already holds the Adidas Originals account, which deals with retro footwear and urban wear.
One tipping point in the Canadian agency’s favour was likely to have centred around recent successes in viral ads undertaken by Sid Lee. The agency was responsible for the recent Star Wars-themed viral ad for Adidas Originals. This was rolled out just ahead of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The Star Wars viral certainly helped the Adidas brand snatch a large share of the online buzz in the first weeks of the World Cup. It included dance duo Daft Punk, football brand ambassador David Beckham, a brief appearance from musicians Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher and rap artist Snoop Dog, who gets to wield a light-sabre!