Adidas just became the first company to sell its products through a Snapchat video game. The game, Baseball’s Next Level uses 8-bit graphics and speaks to what this generation loves most: nostalgia. Any user can play the game through October – until the end of baseball season. Adidas is selling their ‘Icon V’ and ‘The Adizero’-style cleats throughout the game. The cleats feature graphic designs that match the game.
Adidas produced the game in partnership with developer AvatarLabs. Baseball’s Next Level is also available through the company’s website even for those who don’t have Snapchat.
This is a Snapchat first, which opens up another marketing door for all companies.
Adidas is also selling the $130 cleats on their website. The entire line is called ‘8 bit’. The shoes come in two different styles, ‘Icon V’ (which come in red and black) and ‘Afterburner 6 grail’ (black, blue, and white with blue decals). The sneakers feature actual 8-bit block patterns throughout the shoe, along with coin graphics on the tongue and sock liner, ‘level up’ arrows on the heel’s pull tab.
Baseball’s Next Level itself is an old-school-style, 8-bit, home run derby game. You can choose from a variety of Adidas-signed athletes, including Aaron Judge (Yankees), Carlos Correa (Astros), Alex Bregman (Astros), Justin Turner (Dodgers) and Kiké Hernandez (Dodgers), all of whom have their own Adizero or Icon V cleats in the Adidas 8-bit collection, which you can buy directly from the game,” according to Engadget.com.
Adidas’ marketing team is embarking on a first, giving Snapchat’s public a chance to actually buy the products they’re seeing in a game – directly through the game. This had to be the next step, considering that just about every social media app is now adding selling features that link directly to stores. From Instagram’s shopping feature to Facebook ads and one-click checkout, companies are getting creative with ad space that grabs attention. According to MobileMarketer.com, “Snap estimates that 75% of U.S. consumers ages 13 to 34 are active on the app,” which means that this audience is hard to reach by traditional TV, email, and print ads – which companies like Adidas have typically relied on.
Now, they’re getting into advertising through the gaming sphere. In August, Adidas made headlines when they signed a sponsorship deal with Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. Considering that the esports market is hitting over a billion dollars in revenue for the first time this year, the market is becoming bigger than ever.
Last year, Adidas came out with an AR lens that let customers virtually try on shoes.
Adidas competitors aren’t far behind though. Last year, Nike made headlines for becoming the first company to create a shoppable Snapchat filter – in support of the Women’s FIFA Cup Championships.
Now that research shows that more than 67 percent of Americans age two and up play video games, and 90 percent of those players use gaming platforms – clothing and sneaker industries have to make efforts to incorporate this giant community. Ten, or 20 years ago, brands couldn’t imagine that sneakers and video games could ever go together – but there’s been a giant cultural shift since then. Now, companies are left to compete over advertising creativity.