When the weather starts to cool down and isn’t quite as unbearably hot for some outdoor exercise, it seems the sidewalks are filled with runners. And those runners are usually wearing earphones, presumably listening to a pre-made running playlist or their favourite music on shuffle.
When thinking of best-in-class strategic partnerships there’s one in particular that comes to mind this time of year and it’s because of those runners. Our friends at both Adidas and Spotify partnered up just over a year ago to create a first-of-its-kind premium app called adidas go that tracks how fast you’re running and chooses music for you based on that speed. Whether you need a high-energy beat to push you over the finish line, or a slower song to help you cool down, adidas go has the technology to recognize that and deliver accordingly.
Taking a deeper look into Adidas and Spotify’s involvement with one another in the creation of adidas go, it’s easy to see that this is a successful strategic partnership that has been well thought-out. For starters, the partners make perfect sense for one another. The majority of people who run enjoy listening to music while running – so much so that many won’t even go without it. That means that a fitness brand is a natural choice for collaboration with a music brand and vice-versa. In fact, Adidas and Spotify had previously teamed up to create personalized playlists for runners using a campaign called #BoostYourRun which directly coincided with Adidas’ Boost line of shoes.
Not only does the partnership work well for the brands, but for their shared consumers as well. With adidas go, Adidas and Spotify are simplifying the process of creating the perfect running environment. Where runners previously had to spend time finding songs to put into a playlist, they now just need to start running. While this doesn’t seem like a major pain point, it very well may have been for the daily runner who got sick of the same music and didn’t have time to put something better together.
What could come next for this partnership? As of now, Adidas is gaining brand awareness through the app, but could be receiving much more out of the relationship. We’d love to see some product integration in which Adidas purchasers get special access to songs or features, or adidas go users get shoe recommendations based on their history. Similarly, integration with other Adidas apps like miCoach would provide another layer of value for both the brand and the user.
If more brands focused on creating strategic partnerships with aligned brands that made sense, then more of their customers would gain great value through access to something new like adidas go, thereby creating even greater value for the brands themselves.