Adidas Addendum: Tracking Marathon Runners

For two consecutive years, Adidas succeeded in extending the scope of their London marathon sponsorship by creating real value for users while galvanizing its own role as an active wear brand. Moving beyond the splash and wear logo model of competing sponsorship models, it launched the Adidas Runner Tracker application, allowing families and friends to track the status, pace, and estimated finish time of their loved one.

The solution itself is quite simple and almost obvious: teaming up with Marvellous, they designed a java app that linked up with the existing radio-frequency identification chips and timing mats used to track runners' splits. Few people run marathon's without somebody on the sideline to cheer them on. Adidas just made it easier for these parties to connect, making the marathon experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. Moreover, through the tracker platform, supporters could text in encouraging messages to digital screens along the running course where they were then displayed as the targeted runner approached.

It’s estimated that 500,000 people interacted with the Adidas runner tracker application this year alone and that over 1 million people read about the application on social networking websites. Again, Adidas has delivered value for its consumers and hasn't wasted money on empty bubble campaigns.

Read more on this campaign and collaboration here. Learn about Adidas other novel campaign initiatives here.