The Influencer Marketing World Cup

We took a look at sports influencer marketing by Apparel brands.

The chart below shows brands mentioned by sports influencers over the latest month. It shows how many influencers mentioned each brand, the total engagement received, and also the “grip”.

With a grip of 78, this means that on average when stars mention Adidas, they get 22% less engagement than they normally do.  This indicates that Adidas is pushing poor content, harming its credibility with influencers and audiences:

For example this Adidas post by Gabriel Jesus performed 27% below his normal posts. He looks unconvinced and unconvincing:

Nike’s performance was much better. They scored an average grip of 104.

Nike used a broad array of influencers. To pick the example of Ronaldinho, they featured him in a product shot which had more authenticity and personality than the Adidas example, achieving a grip of 197:

🤙🏾⚽ @nikefootball @fcbarcelona

A post shared by Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (@ronaldinho) on

The surprising overall winner here was C&A. Working with just two influencers they achieved the same level of engagement as Nike, and a grip more than twice as good as Adidas.

This was driven by their partnership with Neymar. The top post featured him and his girlfriend Bruna Marquezine in C&A underwear:

This post performed more than twice as well as Neymar’s usual posts.

This is a good example of a brand fitting into what feels like an authentic story. We recommend that brands understand influencers and their audiences, and use this understanding when proposing content. This leads to successful campaigns, and influencers feeling positive about working with the brand again in future.