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Intersport races to new markets

  Article , Retail , Success stories

How the global sports brand is securing its market position

Fit for the future

International retailer Intersport is one of the largest sporting chains in the world, with 5,500 shops in 40 countries, creating an estimated US$12 billion in revenue annually. Its regional offices act independently, and one of its biggest operating markets is Sweden where Intersport Sweden has 151 stores. This makes it the largest sports brand by physical presence in the country.

As a search provider, Bing has enabled us to capitalize on the demand we generate in all our channels.

— Johan Lidenmark, chief digital officer (CDO), Intersport

Unstoppable ambition: Doubling revenue in a year

Despite having a successful year, Intersport Sweden has aggressive targets. “We want to double our revenue in 2018,” explains Johan Lidenmark, chief digital officer (CDO) at Intersport. It’s an ambitious goal, but with the right tools and partners to drive revenue and online traffic — and help establish more awareness of our key brands — we’re confident we’ll do it.”

Lidenmark’s high-growth strategy ties in with Intersport’s global mission to be the number-one destination for sporting goods, both in stores and online.

“Our strength is our brick-and-mortar presence, but e-commerce is increasingly important to us,” says Lidenmark. “A cornerstone of our revenue strategy is to grow our online position."

Ad extensions boost growth

Intersport and its agency, iProspect, recognised that paid search was critical to meeting its ambitious growth targets and capitalizing on the interest and purchase intent it was generating from its marketing campaigns.

To ensure Intersport’s ads stood out from its competitors and clearly communicated the value of its vast product range, iProspect elected to deploy a range of ad extensions, including Image Extensions, Sitelink Extensions and Location Extensions. These were all selected to provide greater information to customers and support Intersport’s commitment to driving sales both online and offline.

“Ad extensions have provided us with the ability to add more relevant information to our ads, which has enabled us to differentiate ourselves within the market,” explains Lidenmark. “By providing our customers with more information, we’ve been able to gain consumer trust and fundamentally take up more space on the search engine results page.”

Location Extensions have proven to be particularly useful for the sports brand. Whilst driving growth online is a core staple of its marketing strategy, Intersport is keen to drive foot traffic to its well-known physical stores and support offline sales in equal measure.

“Location Extensions are a great feature for driving offline sales through online advertising,” adds Lidenmark.

Our paid search activity has helped us spread knowledge of Intersport’s physical stores and special offers, which has resulted in more sales.

— Johan Lidenmark, chief digital officer (CDO), Intersport

Business success

Intersport datatable

Intersport datatable

Since it began using Bing Ads, Intersport has seen high return levels, both in e-commerce transactions and store foot traffic.

“We’ve seen an increase in traffic since using Bing Ads,” says Lidenmark. “Our paid search activity has helped us spread knowledge of Intersport’s physical stores and special offers, which has resulted in more sales.”

During the summer of 2017, Intersport recorded a great season both online and offline using Bing Ads. That’s reflected in the data. Compared to leading competitors, Bing Ads delivered a 15% lower cost per click (CPC) and a 28% increase in the average order value. Bing Ads also delivered a return on ad spend (ROAS) 74% higher than the leading alternative. “It’s a fantastic set of results that’s reflected in the higher foot traffic and sales we’ve experienced,” Lidenmark says.

Finally, Bing’s growth in the Swedish market, which has increased by 140% over the past two years, has not gone unnoticed by Intersport. “The Bing Ads local team in Sweden has expanded, which means it can support us even more effectively,” Lidenmark says. “Plus, now more features are being introduced in other markets, so we’re in a better position than ever to replicate this success in other markets.”

Winning big in sporting goods with ad extensions

Global sports brand Intersport uses Bing Ads ad extensions to increase return on ad spend by 74%.

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