The Power of Dark Social & Adidas' New Approach to Influencer Marketing

21st Oct

How Adidas is using the rise of dark social to push out engaging content.


Influencer marketing was a much talked about topic at this year’s Festival of Marketing, which took place earlier this month at London’s Tobacco Docks.

Florian Alt, senior director of global brand communications for Adidas, presented to the audience of marketers and creatives, Adidas’ new influencer initiative, Tango Squads.

The new influencer campaign connects groups of highly influential football obsessives in Adidas’ 15 key cities worldwide. The initiative is aimed at 16-19 year olds, with the Tango Squads network having first access to exclusive Adidas content which in turn, they distribute to their engaged audiences.


Unlike typical brand/influencer relationships, Tango Squads does not rely on a ‘one cheque, one post’ strategy, and in fact, this initiative, shows the industry’s move away from those types of agreements. Adidas want their content to have authenticity and longevity, and therefore has reinvented the way they approach influencer marketing.

Tango Squad members are given opportunities to attend big games, attend Adidas events and even meet some of the world’s best players such as Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba, whilst documenting this using their smartphones. Distributing this content to their audiences via dark social and messenger apps, these influencers are communicating Adidas brand values via private and personal platforms. With dark social accounting for over 75% of UK referrals, this strategy is about engagement and not just reach. As Florian Alt put it “If it comes as a referral from your mate, you’re much more likely to pick it up than if it comes from a brand” and therefore, this innovative technique proves highly effective and is possibly, the future of influencer marketing.

Read more about how the right influencer can transform your brand event here.