BUILDING AFFINITY WITH 17 YEAR OLD FOOTBALL FANS
New Balance entered the hugely competitive football market in 2014, with Liverpool FC as their lead global asset. The first six years saw the brand compete with the likes of Under Armour, Puma, Umbro and Kappa for third place, behind the big two. With their Liverpool deal ending in the summer of 2020, we were appointed to lead a reposition of the global football brand and integrate culture into the brand’s wider marketing strategies to win with the target audience of 17 year old football players.
As a global strategic partner with a particular focus on nine international markets including UK, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Spain, Germany, France and Senegal, the speed of response required for world class insight and strategy meant an agile approach was needed.
Whilst working with New Balance, planning towards World Cup 2022 and the wider brand positioning still in development, we launched the Future Football Collective.
This cohort of culturally influential tastemakers curate market knowledge and insight, co-create campaign concepts, seed product and amplify content in local territories to build cultural resonance and engagement amongst hard to reach youth audiences. The Collective is managed and tracked through our Fan Intelligence subscription model, to keep all individuals engaged, motivated and enthused about the brand in this crucial four-year cycle for the business.
Throughout August, New Balance Football launched an OOH campaign to celebrate Rose Lavelle’s transatlantic move from Washington Spirit to Manchester City. As the first piece of creative work created by Ear to the Ground, New Balance took over the city with a poetic player tribute to welcome ‘Manchester’s Rose’.