Football Boots: Measuring The ROI of Sponsoring Players

football boots

The number of queries increased from roughly 50k in January 2021 to 200k in November (+300%), marking a significant market tipping point – even after the Covid-19 lockdown was lifted.

Monitoring real consumer expectations with search listening 🔎​

Football boots seemed to be a flat market in France. 

But the emergence of alternative fields (futsal, five-a-side football, etc.), the apparition of new features (laceless, collar boots, etc.), and the influence of new star players in Ligue 1 (Neymar, Mbappé, Messi…) made the competitive landscape much more challenging for historical brands like NikeAdidas or Puma.

Reacting fast to new consumer expectations has become crucial for both marketing & product teams to steer innovation with new products, new packaging, and local marketing campaigns.

To keep up with the competition, a key player in the sports shoe industry called Trajaan for help to get strategic insights and local market information about football boots – with the help of search listening.

How do assess potential opportunities in fast-moving B2C markets? How can search listening help marketing strategists promote targeted and local campaigns?

football boots

The huge growth potential of the football boots market 📈​

The football boots market represents an amazing opportunity for sports brands. We registered more than 1,4 million searches in 2021 about football boots.

Nike and Adidas took the most advantage of this growing period by following the global trend – while Puma remained rather constant.

Nike went from 43k searches per month in February to 180k in December, in other words, it increased more than 4 times.

Adidas also went from around 23k searches per month in February to 93k in December, slightly less than multiplied per 4.

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football boots
Search volume evolution taking into account the 10 major brands

Nike, player of the year 🏆​

The market is not especially crowded, due to the overwhelming presence of an unbeatable podium composed of Nike, Adidas, and Puma – with a total search volume representing 97.3% of the overall volume

Besides these three players, the influence of other brands such as New Balance or Under Armour is not very significant (< 3%). 

Nike currently dominates the market, it also recorded the best growth. 

  • 🕵️‍♂️ More than 175.000 searches in December (+16,4%).
  • 🏆 Nike monopolizes 58,2% of search shares.
football boots

The surprising specificities of the futsal market 🕵️‍♀️

🔎 Almost 25,000 queries in the last 6 months (+160%)

🔎 Searches went from 2,400 in January to 6,650 in December 🔥

🔎 Nike is even more present with 68% of searches related to futsal

🔎 The Eastern French areas have a strong affinity.

Sponsorships: amazing brand awareness boosters 🤝🚀​

The French footballer Mbappé undoubtedly killed the game from November. Good news for Nike, as the brand signed a specific partnership with Mbappé – to promote its products like the Mercurial.

Such an impressive breakthrough in the charts can be explained by the significant success of Kylian Mbappé, but also by the growing influence of the Mercurial aura (the main Nike branded product).

Obviously, online searches are dependent on sponsorship deals between brands and players. 

Aside from Nike, we detected a high volume of association between a player and football boots for two players only: CR7 + Nike and Neymar + Puma.

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Football players searches shares in 2021
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Main football players along 2021

Detecting unusual search behavior with local affinity 🗺​

Besides the significant success in the Parisian region, we noticed a specific consumer behavior in Brittany – in terms of volume and affinity Western French regions have less interest in football boots.

More surprisingly, Corsica shows a strong interest in football boots, almost as much as Parisian interest.

Affinity for football shoes in France (volume of search for 100k inhabitants)
Volume of search in France

How does search listening provide the right market indicators? 🎯​

We scanned major marketplaces and websites selling football boots to collect hundreds of expressions related to football shoes. We extracted 800+ semantic expressions from these major e-commerce platforms.

We only conserved expressions that were searched by consumers,  known as search queries.

All of these search inquiries were grouped into segments representing all subcategories of the football boots market: brands, models, prices, players …

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