Sports Brands Reaction to Coronavirus

Nick Baklanov

Marketing specialist at HypeAuditor. Connect on Linkedin.

HypeAuditor analyzed Instagram accounts and Instagram mentions of 5 biggest sportswear brands (Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, Underarmour) to see how sports brands are overcoming the coronavirus impact and adapt their marketing strategies to new realities.

Key Findings

Nike and Adidas turned out to be the best at uniting their followers under a common idea (Nike with #playinside and Adidas with #hometeam campaigns), while Puma and Underarmour did nothing about it and Reebok tried to repeat, but than give itself #permissiontopause.

Nike and Adidas managed to launch the idea and give it traction with the help of influencer marketing.

Nike (@Nike)

Post about closing the Nike stores – 15 March

View this post on Instagram

With love, Your Nike Family

A post shared by Nike (@nike) on

Post about #playinside – 21 March

The company — after closing stores in select countries across the world earlier this week — dropped a new ad campaign asking people to stay inside and practice social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance,” the ad reads. “Play inside, play for the world.”

Influencers’ posts with @Nike mentions

On the graph above you can see that @Nike has received 915 posts with @nike mentions from influencers’ accounts on 21 March.

Likes and comments under influencers’ posts with @Nike mentions

Posts with @Nike mentions generated over 2M likes on 21 March.

Adidas (@Adidas)

Post about closing Adidas stores – 18 March

Post about #hometeam – 21 March

Adidas is a few days late from Nike. Both with the post about closing stores and about its new ad campaign #hometeam anyway Adidas managed to get the growth of mentions and engagement.

“Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be rolling out free virtual experiences across social and digital channels, to support our community as they stay active, practice mindfulness, learn, and seek entertainment.” 

Influencers’ posts with @Adidas mentions

@Adidas has received 276 posts with @Adidas mentions from influencers’ accounts on 24 March.

Likes and comments under influencers’ posts with @Adidas mentions

Posts with @Adidas mentions generated over 1 287K likes on 24 March.

Puma (@Puma)

Reposts with #stayathomechallenge

Puma didn’t come with any initiatives or online home training tutorials instead of that Puma reposted funny videos from stay at home challenges.

Influencers’ posts with @puma mentions

Posts with Puma’s mentions decrease.

Likes and comments under influencers’ posts with @Puma mentions

Reebok (@Reebok)

Post about closing Reebok stores – 17 March

View this post on Instagram

A message to our Reebok community.

A post shared by Reebok (@reebok) on

Post with #permissiontopause – 25 March

Influencers’ posts with @Reebok mentions

Posts with Reebok’s mentions decrease.

Likes and comments under influencers’ posts with @Reebok mentions

Underarmour (@Underarmour)

Post about closing Underarmour stores – 16 March

View this post on Instagram

A message to the UA Family.

A post shared by Under Armour (@underarmour) on

Posts with home workouts – from 19 March

Influencers’ posts with @Underarmour mentions

Posts with Underarmor’s mentions decrease.

Likes and comments under influencers’ posts with @Underarmour mentions

About HypeAuditor

HypeAuditor is an AI-powered Instagram and YouTube analytics tool that helps to get insights about the creator’s audience, increase advertisers’ ROI, and safeguard authenticity in influencer marketing. It sets a standard for Instagram analytics by providing the most accurate data.

HypeAuditor applies machine learning to determine behavioral patterns and identify fake followers and engagement on influencer accounts. It presents users with a breakdown of demographic data for an influencer’s audience and brings benchmarks for each metric for influencers with a similar number of followers.