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Monitoring The Impact of Sponsoring Players With Football Boots

decorative sneaker near plate with sweets on table at home

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.

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, MbappĂ©, 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?

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.

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.

Futsal, growth driver?

Sponsorships: amazing brand awareness boosters

The French footballer MbappĂ© undoubtedly killed the game from November. Good news for Nike, as the brand signed a specific partnership with MbappĂ© – 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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