By Barry Janoff
April 19, 2012: Adidas plans to take full advantage of the upcoming anticipated stellar pro career of Robert Griffin III, beginning with a marketing campaign for the new adizero Sonic 3 that will be anchored by a TV spot starring the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner.
RG3, out out Baylor, is expected to be the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft on April 26, with analysts predicting him being selected by the Washington Redskins.
Adidas also disclosed the signing of quarterback Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M University to an endorsement deal. Tannehill is expected to be the third quarterback taken in the NFL draft behind Andrew Luck (who has signed with Nike and will be drafted by the Indianapolis Colts) and RG3.
"I'm excited to join the adidas family," said Tannehill in a statement. "I wore the three stripes in college and adidas is the perfect fit for me as I head to the next level."
The signing of Griffin and Tannehill comes at a time when adidas is seeking to keep pace in the NFL, with its Reebok division having been replaced by Nike this month as the league's official outfitter. Nike, adidas and Under Armour are all official shoe providers to the NFL.
RG3's adidas commercial, "What Light Can Do," launched yesterday on YouTube and will premiere April 21 on TV, according to the company.
In the spot, Griffin accelerates through footwork drills and sprints while wearing the adizero Sonic 3, speaking to an audience following his every move via various TV and computer screens in gyms, restaurants and homes.
"They say expectations are heavy; the spotlight — it weighs a ton," Griffin offers in the spot. "And that pressure weighs even more. They say the weight of it all can break you. It's heavy. Crazy heavy. They say I have no idea what something that heavy can do. I say they have no idea what light can do."
According to adidas, some of the commercial was shot at Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium, where Griffin set or tied more than 50 school records.
“The first thing that comes to mind when you put on the adizero Sonic is how light it is,” said Griffin in a statement. “It gives you a lot of support so you can run long distances, but you can use it multiple ways. It has support so you can lift in it and stay comfortable during a full day’s workout.”
Added Mikal Peveto, director of running for adidas America, “The adizero Sonic 3 was built for the high school athlete with a faster, more aggressive look. This is the ultimate go-fast shoe that runners, football players and baseball players alike will use to break records to get to the next level.”
In addition to Griffin and Tannehill (pictured), adidas NFL footwear endorsers include Von Miller (Denver Broncos), Jimmy Graham, (New Orleans Saints), Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers), DeMarco Murray (Dallas Cowboys), Eric Berry (Kansas City Chiefs), Reggie Bush (Miami Dolphins), Lawrence Timmons (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Mario Williams and C.J. Spiller (Buffalo Bills).
See the full RG3 spot here.