Digital marketing helps Adidas cut ties to sports bodies
* Marketing budgets shift from TV to online
* Adidas in big deals with clubs and stars, not federations
* Nike takes over from Adidas at some federations
* Athletics suffers from lack of big names beyond Bolt
By Emma Thomasson
BERLIN, Jan 27 (Reuters) - If Adidas ends its funding of the athletics governing body, it would not just be a reaction to doping but also a sign of a shift towards spending on individual sports stars and teams who can promote brands directly to fans via social media.
The BBC said the German sportswear firm, whose 11-year deal made it the biggest sponsor of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), had decided against continuing with the contract as a direct result of doping and corruption allegations that emerged in December.
Neither Adidas nor the IAAF would confirm the report, but such a move would fit in with a trend towards sponsors like Adidas feeling less bound to sports governing bodies as the ultimate gatekeepers to fans.
The rise of social media has meant marketing budgets have moved away from television and towards online advertising, with top sports stars now able to directly promote their chosen brands to millions of fans who follow their feeds. Continuación...