Cannes Lions

adidas - Tango Squad FC

ADIDAS, Herzogenaurach / ADIDAS / 2019

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Case Film
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adidas Football competes in a hyper-competitive market, trying to connect with a young generation of football, fashion, music and culture obsessed 14-25 y/o’s.

Back in 2015, to get under the skin of this audience we worked with adidas football to build a network of local football captains, we called this group of micro-influencers the “Tango Squad”.

The squad got invites to events, content before it dropped and the opportunity to play in “Tango League” football tournaments. This experience elevated their social profiles and transformed them into authentic micro-influencers in their cities.

Our next step was to evolve selected micro-influencers from local fame to global fame.

Enter Tango Squad FC.


We created a long form docu-series about the first, brand owned social football team formed of charismatic and skilled footballers from across Europe, “Tango Squad FC” tells their story from the streets to the stadiums.

As our narrative develops we craft storylines though a mix of documentary and reality TV style filmmaking - capturing highs and lows, as players personalities clash and grow on-screen, alongside their social channels off-screen.

From being managed by Xabi Alonso, training at Real Madrid, chilling with Paul Pogba and playing against other social football teams at Old Trafford, this YouTube series unlocks the power of the adidas brand with unprecedented impact.

The squad experiences the best that adidas has to offer and inspires thousands of viewers to become actively involved with the wider “Tango” ecosystem of “Tango League” football tournaments and trials where viewers can get scouted for “Tango Squad FC” and become stars.


Our creative idea was rooted in two strong insights.

First, insight about our audience. During our discovery phase, we learnt that our audience has a paramount desire to raise their status from the ground up. In a nutshell: they don’t want to achieve fame copying Messi or Pogba, they want to do it by expressing themselves.

Second, a cultural insight that give us cultural traction. During our research, we spotted the surge of social football teams on YouTube (e.g. Hashtag Utd). A cultural opportunity where groups of players share both amateur football games and life behind-the-scenes with their growing social audience bases.

These insights unlocked a great opportunity, to create a content series with the rise of a new brand owned football team. A content series that would allow us to reach millions of fans and to position adidas as the brand that allows you to create your own name.


We produced the series with four principles in mind:

We created a narrative arc to give the show the perfect storytelling structure to entertain our audience.

We selected players from our audience not only for their skills, but their ability to capture the viewers imagination.

We used the best of the adidas brand as a hook to get the right audiences in and keep them. Star players, coaches, clubs and rivals social channels made for essential viewing.

Set competitive matches against other social football teams to increase hype and excitement among our audience, giving the series momentum and sense of jeopardy.

We used data analytics tools to understand which elements of the series could be optimised for entertainment purposes.

The episodes were at the centre of a wider and richer cross-platform storytelling eco-system. While YouTube hosted the show, we used every players social channel available to us to drive views.


Tango Squad FC entertained millions of young football fans online.

Across both seasons of Tango Squad FC we’ve achieved a cross-platform** reach of 41 million views.

17 million unique viewers watched on YouTube*.

We entertained our audience for 101 million minutes on YouTube*.

Over 20,000 fans signed up to attend trials to star in season 2 of Tango Squad FC.

That’s Netflix levels of entertainment, for a brand.

*YouTube views from the beginning of the project (Sept '17) until the 18th April.

**Cross-platform numbers were last updated on the 8th of February

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The Deal


The Deal

2019, ADIDAS

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