Adidas Special Ops – Guerrilla Marketing at It’s Best

June 23, 2009 Nick Engvall

Adidas Special Ops – Guerrilla Marketing at It’s Best

House of Pain x Adidas Campus 80's Mission Accomplished!

Since March I have been hunting for some sneakers, specifically the House of Pain x

Adidas Campus 80’s. When these shoes came out I was able to get my hands on a pair of size 14’s, one size too big. I bought them with the intention of reselling them and using the money to pick up a size 13, because there is now way I can own a pair of shoes and not wear them. Wearing a 14 was out of the question. I was able to resell the 14’s fairly quickly, within a day or two, but unfortunately the one size 13 on eBay had already disappeared. So I added it to my notifications that day so eBay would email me every time a new listing was posted that included House of Pain and Adidas. I was amazed, and entertained at how many people use irrelevant keywords, but I have not seen a single size 13 since March.

After hunting through the pages and pages of for sale posts on all of the sneaker message boards, I thought I would give twitter a try. The following is what I posted…

Sneakerheads WTB: Adidas Campus 80 x House of Pain Size 13 Help me find these please RT!

Within a few hours, I had a message from @adiSpecialOps saying he might be able to get them for me. From previous experiences, I decided not to get my hopes up. The next day I was greeted with a message saying he thought he had located a pair in my size. Hopes are up at this point, three plus months of searching, I couldn’t help it! A couple hours later he let me know he had found a pair and was having them sent to his desk to make sure they were what I was looking for (This is something I am greatly appreciative of, because had I ordered and received the wrong or style, it would have been nothing short of devastating.). My hunt seemed to nearing a joyous ending, I waited patiently. Two days later I received the message, the kicks were in his hands and waiting for me to claim! Woohoo! On top of it all, I paid retail pricing and had them shipped to me for free!

This is by far one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with any purchase. In the sneaker culture, most often the shop owners overlook customers who aren’t buying the latest and greatest. Which in turn, means that customer service at the retail level is lacking, and of course getting in touch with a brand representative is near impossible. Even if you are able to get in touch with one, they are likely to direct you to the same shop owner that is tired of seeing you by this point.

After my experience, I realize, THIS is the future of customer service, the future of marketing, guerrilla marketing. People are looking to spend there money, especially in the sneaker industry, but finding what they are looking for is the challenge. Enter in the Special Ops team. Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, eBay, and message forums are all places nearly EVERY sneakerhead for those elusive kicks, and holy grails. People like @adiSpecialOps can reach these customers, time and time again. On top of that one sale that they may make, it’s the after effects that will benefit these companies the most. Personally, after this experience, not only did I pick up a few pairs of Adidas, I’m sitting here typing about this experience. You can believe everyone I know who may be interested in sneakers will hear about it the next time I see them. Many, already have.

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Nick Engvall

Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with over 15 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector, and Sneaker News, helped companies like Eastbay, Finish Line, Foot Locker, StockX, and Stadium Goods better connect with their consumers, has an addiction to burritos and Sour Patch Kids, and owns way too many shoes for his own good.
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