DAZN lands Adidas as first advertiser in Canada

Adidas has signed on to advertise its new line of soccer shoes with the over-the-top (OTT) sports streaming platform DAZN.

Adidas will advertise its new Hard Wired shoe line across DAZN’s streaming content, as well as its social channels and website content. It’s the first advertising client for DAZN in Canada, and the first time Adidas has advertised with an OTT service in North America—although it seems like a natural destination for Adidas to push its soccer shoes.

DAZN (pronounced Da Zone) may not a household name in Canadian media yet, but soccer fans know the brand very well after it landed the broadcast rights for England’s Premier League earlier this year. Bell-owned TSN and Rogers-owned Sportsnet held the rights for many years, showing games and producing shows around the world’s biggest sports league.

But the upstart DAZN—which launched in Canada in 2017—shocked soccer fans by inking a three-year deal in April. Suddenly, any fan of English soccer in Canada had to consider adding DAZN to their monthly content subscription budget—$20 a month or $150 a year. Aside from English soccer, DAZN streams other European soccer along with some games from North America’s Major League Soccer as well as National Football League and Major League Baseball content.

One of the common questions about emerging OTT business models is the place for advertising. If people are paying for content, should they expect an ad free experience? DAZN strives for an “audience-centric” approach, working with brands to try and be “non-intrusive,” said Norm Lem, senior vice-president of revenue at DAZN. In the U.S., where DAZN has had a few ad partners, ads are presented in a picture-in-picture format, and the same tactic is being considered for Canada.

“Given their recent acquisitions with European soccer leagues, we see this opportunity as the perfect way to launch our latest soccer campaign, Hard Wired, and to reach passionate soccer fans in Canada,” said Angela Blyth, director of marketing at Adidas Canada, in a release.

“Our partnership with Adidas marks an important moment in the growth of the DAZN platform in North America,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN executive vice-president for North America in the release. “We have invested deeply in order to capture the exclusive rights to the world’s best soccer leagues and so we’re thrilled to partner with a brand devoted to international soccer like adidas.”


David Brown