Microsoft has signed a new deal with adidas which will see the two companies forming a strategic partnership and secure an Xbox presence on adidas' planned FIFA 2006 World Cup mobile portal.
The alliance with Microsoft encompasses a range of collaborative marketing activities leading up to next year's World Cup in Germany, including the deployment of Xbox 360 kiosks appearing in adidas stores worldwide.
Both companies will jointly sponsor MTV's 'Goal - Germany 2006' television series, in addition to cross promotional activities for the launch of Goal: The Movie. The new partnership is expected to extend throughout grass roots football events and all additional media activity. More specifically, for the planned FIFA 2006 World Cup mobile portal which Adidas is currently finalising content for.
"The alliance between adidas and Xbox reflects the fact that sports, lifestyle and video games are inextricably linked," said Xbox corporate VP Peter Moore.
A spokesperson for adidas commented: "Mobile gaming is a spear point for adidas' worldwide communication. Next to mass market advertising where reach and frequency are of key importance, advergaming creates true involvement in the product and brand."
Although little is known about the content of the soccer mobile portal at present, further details regarding Microsoft's involvement are expected to be revealed in the run up to the FIFA World Cup event next summer.
Adidas has created several mobile portals for specific event sponsorship or commercial brand awareness in the past, including a dedicated 'advergame' which was released to promote the launch of the company's first intelligent shoe in April 2005. The adidas_1 game was made available in stores worldwide, and distributed through WAP, Internet and interactive television channels.
The company also partnered with hip-hop star Missy Elliot to create a new product line and developed a mobile portal to promote the range, including adverts, text messaging service and a store location system. The scheduled FIFA World Cup portal is expected to feature a number of partnerships in addition to the Microsoft deal.