Max Van Den Doel – adidas International – Interview with iSC

May 10, 2011

Max Van Den Doel, HEAD OF GLOBAL SPORTS MARKETING TEAMSPORTS AND TRAINING, adidas International, has taken part in an exclusive Featured Profile interview with iSportconnect.

Van Den Doel spoke of his fortune at being able to work in the sports industry after moving to America from Amsterdam as a teenager, stating: “I remember the fascination I developed for Mega Sporting events such as the NFL Superbowl, the NBA All Star Weekend, the World Series and many others. Two decades ago, the American sports marketing industry was advanced and formed the basis of my desire to be involved professionally within the industry. I was lucky to start with adidas during the FIFA World Cup in USA back in 1994.”

Max defined a strong brand as one that “at delivering the benefits customers truly desire,” highlighting the likes of Apple and Coca-Cola as industry leaders and claimed that the latter is a “benchmark” for sports sponsorship. “It’s probably fair to say that Coca Cola’s sponsorship investments and subsequent association with World Soccer is a benchmark for many other companies,” said Van Den Doel.

He claimed that adidas’ association with the world’s leading governing bodies across a wide variety of sports is “something that adidas is not only very proud of, but also form natural sporting platforms to launch innovative products.” He added: “To be associated with the best clubs in the best leagues and to have iconic athletes wear the latest adidas products during the biggest sporting events allows adidas to showcase its self as the world’s leading sports brand.”

When asked of the process that the brand takes in selecting partners and whether it was purely a financial decision, Van Den Doel revealed that adidas tracks athletes for personal endorsements at very early age. He stated: “As a high performance sports brand, the 1st criteria is –and will always remain- top performances on the field of play. When the athlete is young and upcoming, adidas evaluates his/her talent and potential to become a top performer in the future.” Max went on to say: “After that adidas looks for assets who personify the adidas brand values and whom consumers can relate to. Two-time consecutive Ballon D’or winner Leo Messi is a great example of somebody who was on adidas’ radar for a long time.”

When questioned as to whether adidas’ main competitor’s performance and achievements effect the company’s planning, Van Den Doel claimed: “The adidas-group strategy towards 2015 is set in stone and was communicated to the financial world earlier this year.” He continued: “The ‘adidas is all in’ campaign was planned well in advance and – regardless of competitors’ campaigns – adidas has already defined the initiatives for 2012 and beyond.”

Max emphasised adidas’ role as a brand for all sports, saying: “If you look at the presence of adidas at the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games, there is an adidas product to be seen in every sport with the exclusion of equestrian. A multi sports brand like adidas understands that the underlying consumer interest in sport is passion, regardless of the size or geographical location in which the sport is played.”

Van Den Doel had the final word on his association with iSportconnect and the incentives it brings, stating: “iSportconnect offers the right platform to connect with the industry leaders within a few seconds. The platform allows you to exchange views and can be used to obtain different points of view on a specific subject. You are kept up to date with the latest industry related events and of course the latest news.” Read the full interview here –

Editors Note:

Max van den Doel relocated back to his hometown of Amsterdam, following the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he works for adidas as the Head of Global Sports Marketing Teamsports and Training. Before then, Max worked for adidas Asia/Pacific for five years in Hong Kong. One of the highlights during his stay in the fast growing region were the Bejing 2008 Olympic Games, another milestone sporting event in Asia, having worked on the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan.

Prior to that Max worked in Germany for 5 years on football related licensed products, gaining commercial experience in working with the world’s biggest football clubs/events. He began his career with adidas in New York after moving to America as a teenager.