Adidas has wooed England footballer Theo Walcott away from Nike in a marketing coup that will see it use the star to front its latest global brand push.
Walcott is to become one of the main faces for the brand’s football marketing moving forward, joining the likes of Barcelona FC’s Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. He also joins fellow club compatriots Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker.
The Arsenal striker goes straight into Adidas’ latest irreverent #therewillbehaters global campaign. It launched last month and represented something of a creative shift from the brand’s recent campaigns with the concept far more self-aware than usual. It features stars including Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema sending up their lavish lifestyles as a way to rebuff the haters that have criticised them and the brand recently.
Walcott’s arrival represents something of a coup for the business as its most high profile English player Steven Gerrard prepares to depart for the US next season. Given Walcott’s high-profile status for both club and country, Adidas could see him as a likely successor to lead its activity in England.
He will first endorse the brand tomorrow (21 February), donning the latest adiZero F50 boots for the first time against Crystal Palace.
Walcott’s defection from Nike to Adidas ends a 12-year-deal that first began when he was 14. He appeared in many major campaigns for the American sportswear maker including “Make the Difference” and promotions for the England team, which Nike sponsors.
The deal, terms of which are undisclosed, is long term, claimed Adidas.