adidas x Volleyball Day in Nebraska

Creative Strategy & Event Activation

A world record-breaking moment in women’s athletics

We partnered with adidas and University of Nebraska-Lincoln to serve up a game-day experience fit for an historic moment: breaking the world record for the largest crowd to ever witness a women’s sporting event.

When the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers women’s volleyball team set the goal of breaking the global attendance record for women’s sports, we made sure adidas was there to help fans celebrate the event in a meaningful way.

Playing to the team’s historic roots and loyal fans, we reactivated the team’s former home court at the Nebraska Coliseum for Rally at the Coliseum, the official game-day pep rally. Skipping school and work, generations of Cornhusker fans traveled from tens to thousands of miles away to line up outside the Coliseum before doors opened.

More than 15,000 fans—triple our expectations — participated in games and giveaways, made super-sized signs, customized charm bracelets, and wrote personal notes for the team to get appropriately hyped for the big match. The event was further amplified via social media, where participants posted #RATC more than 2,500 times.

Fans could write messages to the team and their favorite players via our Note Net, which was later shared with the team in a special product seeding moment. 

Through the thousands of notes we received, it was clear that the connection between this team, its fans, and young women everywhere is something that transcends sport. 

Our event culminated with player appearances, and emotional speeches from players and Coach John Cook. There was not a dry eye in the Coliseum, as a few young fans were picked from the crowd to meet their favorite players — driving home the impact the program’s players, coaches, and fans have had for future generations.

What started out as an idea for adidas to contribute to this iconic moment, turned into the best pep rally event imaginable. The attention to detail, programming, consumer journey, and organization of the activation was amazing. This was a massive win for the brand.

Thomas Ward, Manager of NCAA Brand Marketing at adidas

Later that day, the Cornhuskers succeeded in breaking the world record by packing the University of Nebraska’s football stadium with 92,003 roaring fans, many decked out in adidas gear custom for the event. The event was further amplified by coverage from hundreds of international press outlets, from ESPN and USA Today to the New York Times and the BBC

The once-in-a-lifetime event was the perfect forum for adidas to bring together the community and continue to build momentum for women’s sports worldwide.

We all knew this would be a historic event for women’s sports, and there was the possibility of breaking several attendance records, but the day surpassed our expectations.

Jeanne Schneider, senior director of NCAA sports marketing at adidas