Figures released today by brand analysis and research agency Repucom show the 2015/16 season kit launch, using Adidas Football's #BeTheDifference hashtag, has generated almost the same amount of value in the first three days as Adidas' Real Madrid campaign has achieved since its launch in June.
Repucom told PRWeek the high figures were a result of Manchester United promoting the campaign through social media. The agency said recent controversy around the plunging neckline on the women's kit would not have influenced the figures.
The club has produced 38 posts relating directly to the kit launch, across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, more than any other Adidas-affiliated club since June, including AC Milan (16), Bayern Munich (36), Chelsea (36) and Real Madrid (28).
Despite Manchester United's social media fan base being just over half that of Real Madrid’s (76 million compared with 123 million), the value generated through fan engagement is set to overtake Adidas’ other clubs, the agency claims.
Max Barnett, head of digital UK&I at Repucom, said: "Kit launches are a fantastic example of what we call ‘fan stories’; content that is related to one theme, delivered across multiple digital platforms.
"The 20-time league champions have been relentless in this campaign and as a result, the club will certainly provide more value through social media than Adidas’ other major clubs this summer. This shows that building an engaged social fan base is key and something other teams around the world should be looking at."
The #BeTheDifference campaign, launched on 1 August, saw Adidas take over from the previous kit supplier Nike, in a $1.2bn (£750m) deal for the next 10 years.