Adidas, Right to Play team up

Herzogenaurach, Germany- based Adidas has strategically partnered with Toronto-based global charity Right to Play and soccer star Zinedine Zidane to help bring sports programs to underprivileged kids in poverty-stricken countries. The partnership is long-term: Right to Play has even redesigned its symbolic red ball to include Adidas messaging, and in turn Adidas is selling the balls to raise funds for the org.

Herzogenaurach, Germany- based Adidas has strategically partnered with Toronto-based global charity Right to Play and soccer star Zinedine Zidane to help bring sports programs to underprivileged kids in poverty-stricken countries. The partnership is long-term: Right to Play has even redesigned its symbolic red ball to include Adidas messaging, and in turn Adidas is selling the balls to raise funds for the org.

‘Adidas has a mandate to be the best sports brand in the world, and recently we’ve added to that,’ explains Steve Ralph, VP marketing at Toronto-based Adidas Canada. ‘Adidas launched the Adi Dassler Fund within the last 12 months, and its mission is to make the world a better place through sport.’

Right to Play has a very similar mandate, to use sport programs to improve health, build life skills, and foster peace for children and communities affected by war, poverty and disease, which made the partnership with Adidas a natural fit.

Ralph says the Canadian activation of the partnership is set to ramp up later this summer. ‘In August, all of our Adidas stores in Canada will have red balls in the window, staff will be wearing red shirts, and there will be information cards at the counter,’ he says, adding that a new Adidas sports performance store expected to open in Toronto next spring will incorporate Right to Play messaging, too. The red balls will also have a presence at upcoming Adidas-sponsored events like next spring’s Vancouver marathon.

Ralph says the prime branding goal for this initiative is to demonstrate that Adidas is a truly global brand, including a presence in developing countries. Currently, there isn’t any top-line communication strategy planned. Rather, the program will be promoted via PR, including public appearances by Zidane, as well as word of mouth and in-store.

The red balls are already available for sale online at www.adidas.com and www.adidasslerfund.com. Beginning in August they will be available in store.