The Adidas Affiliate Program: Monetizing A Sports Brand
In this post, I review the Adidas affiliate program. I cover the commission structure, promotional strategies, and examples of successful affiliate sites promoting Adidas brand products.
If you're unfamiliar with the company, Adidas designs and manufactures clothing, shoes, and accessories.
According to Wikipedia, it's the biggest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world, trailing Nike.
It generated €19.291 billion in 2016 and was founded and currently headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
Adidas does have an affiliate program. It's provided by Impact.com.
Adidas Commission Structure
According to Impact Radius, Adidas offers a 7% commission rate on eligible products.
As you can see from the Impact.com screenshot below, there's a 30 day referral window, and there's a recurring payout structure:
The way recurring payouts work, the affiliate page specifies that "for return consumers payouts apply to 3 recurrences".
Adidas VS Amazon
As of this writing, in June 2018, Amazon is offering 7% on Apparel and Shoes- the two most relevant categories.
Even though the commission structure is the same, and Amazon will obviously convert better on average, the Adidas site offers unique products that you can't buy on Amazon.
You'll have to ferret out the unique Adidas products to promote. One strategy I've used as an Amazon affiliate is to create content around Amazon products, and link out to a third-party retailer's product path.
For example, if I have a post on the "best Adidas running shoes", linking primarily to Amazon, I'll incorporate a deep-link on page to to an Adidas product search path like this one with anchor text like: "View Adidas Shoe Prices".
That way I capitalize on high-converting Amazon affiliate traffic, while also diverting some to Adidas as an affiliate partner. Here's an example of a product comparison table featuring a third-party affiliate link in the top right corner:
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Adidas Keyword Research
Below I extracted 1,000 of Adidas' top performing keywords (I removed some brand terms to clean up the list).
As you can see below, some of their top performing keywords relate to 'yeezy'. This refers to Kanye West's official collaboration with Adidas, which has a crazy 317,000 monthly search volume.
As a rabid basketball fan, it's also interesting to see it ranking #2 for "james harden shoes", which has a monthly search volume of 23,000.
What Can You Promote?
As you can see from their website dropdown, and the keyword research table, there's a ton of things you can promote as an affiliate, from brands like Deerupt, NMD, Ultraboost.
There are sports accessories for Running, Soccer, Basketball, Workout, Football, Hiking, Tennis, Skateboarding, Volleyball, Lacrosse, Baseball and Golf.
There are clothing staples like Pants, Hoodies & Sweatshirts, Jackets, Track Suits, Short Sleeve Shirts, Graphic T-Shirts, Long Sleeve Shirts, Polos, Sports Jerseys, Compression Wear, Tights, Shorts, and Tank Tops.
There are also some fashion accessories you can promote, like Bags & Backpacks, Hats & Beanies, Socks, Phone Cases, Sunglasses, Watches, Gloves, and Scarves.
How To Promote Adidas
One of my favorite strategies for acquiring traffic is producing long-form content. Below, in Site Example #1, you can see an example of a site that ranks for the "yeezy" keyword.
Although it's not monetizing with Adidas on this particular page, and is actually using the Stadium Goods affiliate program, it's acquiring traffic that could easily be monetized using Adidas' affiliate program:
Site Example #1
From the Mad Max-esque Desert Rat, to the lauded “Semi Frozen Yellow” Boost 350 V2, many of these Kanye West-designed silhouettes didn’t sit on the shelf for long before selling out, making buying YEEZY a task for professional collectors only. And understandably so.
Site Example #2
Another high-volume Adidas keyword refers to their "ultraboost" brand.
When I think of SEO opportunities for big brands like Adidas or Nike, some of the easiest keywords to rank for are brand terms.
news Energy and Pure BOOST silhouettes might have preceded it, but nothing quite captured punter’s imaginations like the UltraBOOST. Its 2015 release instigated a wave of DIY customisations and an onslaught of crazy-hype collaborations, and the sneaker landscape hasn’t been the same since. There have been a handful of permutations of the runner.
Email can be another profitable referral source- if you have an email list you can broadcast Adidas deals, promotions, and specials.
(Plus, you can easily promote the 'SEO' content you created.)
This section could be useful for SEO as well as email- it lets you create and promote content with a first-mover advantage. If I were obsessed with sneakers, Kanye West, or some other Adidas brand item, I'd happily click through an email that alerts me to the release of a new product.
When it comes to social media, there are restrictions. According to the affiliate agreement,
"Promotion on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other social media platforms is permitted following these rules: You ARE ALLOWED to promote offers to your followers or own lists (excluding Facebook custom audiences or similar programs); more specifically, you are welcome to use your Impact Radius Links on your own social media properties, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.; provided you will comply with the terms that govern your use of such social media platform. For example: You may post, “Shop the new adidas Ultraboost collection" on Facebook. You ARE PROHIBITED from posting your affiliate links on adidas’s social media properties and via any paid social media channels such as Facebook Ads. You will not advertise adidas through any paid media such as search engine ads, display advertising, paid social advertising such as Facebook ads."
The stipulations basically mean that you can promote affiliate links organically, but you can't use paid traffic or custom audiences on social or on search platforms like AdWords.
If you're looking to promote a sports fashion brand, Adidas could be a compelling option.
Particularly if you niche down into some of their unique brand offerings- that's a great space to leverage 'SEO content' and provide value to your email list.