Paid Social Ad Strategies: Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Under Armour

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We analyzed BrandTotal marketing data from [June 1 - July 10, 2020] across the Activewear category to see how major brands are utilizing paid social media marketing campaigns.


In a recent BrandTotal report, Nike led the category across a number of metrics, including share-of-voice, video views, and engagements. We’ll look at a number of leading brands to see if anything has changed, including Adidas, Under Armor, Reebok, and others to see how they use paid social media marketing campaigns.

BrandTotal Key Insights

Across the category, paid social ad spending was up at the beginning of the period analyzed, spiking around June 8 to June 11, and then increasing gradually over the rest of the period.

These overall spikes were primarily seen around Puma’s Instagram dark campaign, “We got you Sweating, chilling, whatever you’re doing”.

In terms of specific brands’ spending over the period:

Nike: Nike’s spending was flat for much of June and then increased significantly from the beginning of July. This increase was around its YouTube campaign “Game Time with Sky Brown + Hangs with Soccer Star Casey Short”, and its Twitter dark campaign “Customize your stride with Nike By You—personalize your Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37”.

Under Armor: The brand’s spending also increased into July. This was seen in its Facebook dark campaign “Under Armour is proud to support LGBTQ diversity in sport” and the YouTube “The Köhler Effect” campaign.

Adidas: The brand saw spending rise from mid-June to the end of the month. This was around its Facebook dark ad “Up to 50% off”.

Notable campaigns

New Balance

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With over 220k likes, this campaign from New Balance highlights the brand’s relationship with star footballer Sadio.


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Puma also uses a celebrity in its campaign and chooses an image over video.

Under Armor

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Under Armor doesn’t use celebrities in this high-energy inspirational video that showcases various traditional and non-traditional sports.

Activewear brands and paid social media strategies

Over the period analyzed, the leading activewear brands used social media to show off new products, show solidarity with various causes, and highlight deals on specific products. Some chose to partner with celebrities to spread their message, while others focused on sports and activity in general or on the products themselves.

Want more data?

Download our latest report for a snapshot of the top spenders and ads in the activewear space.

View Report