What’s Going on With Adidas?

Adidas seems to be off the grid lately.

No real brand direction, a lackluster display of overplayed looks, and the Yeezy Boosts, which don’t seem to be grabbing anyone’s attention but the entire Kardashian clans’.

I remember when I was little, Adidas was the soccer go-to. We had Adidas everything. Adidas soccer shorts, socks, and cleats. Because that was the sport it was best represented. When I went to college, we were sponsored by Adidas for track & field. It’s always been around.

To me, Adidas has always been more well-known for its athletic performance gear. However, in order to survive in the competitive marketplace here in the US, Adidas has had to expand it’s influence to consumers, specifically, women, who are more fashion-forward when it comes to sporting athletic apparel. And I think that’s Adidas’ problem; having a binary brand, consisting of both athletic and fashion apparel, while having no true understanding on how to communicate to each individual consumer.

In the mid-2000’s, Adidas rolled out a more fashion-forward line; “an athliesure line,” if you will. But then things fell off.

Often times, when we think of a company losing sales, we generally think that it’s because the product isn’t good. That must be why it doesn’t sell.

But what we often fail to realize is that more than likely, its an indicator of poor internal communications on subjects such as brand direction and how to appropriately advertise.

According to  MarketWatch;

“Adidas is in the midst of an internal makeover. The company that had faced falling sales in the U.S. market, the world’s largest sportswear market. It has spent much of the past year working to regain its footing, and early indications point toward a rebound: The company last week issued a surprise increase of its forward-looking financial forecasts, reporting fourth-quarter net profit grew 12% from a year before.

Competitors such as Nike Inc. and Under Armour Inc. have pledged to aggressively expand their women’s businesses in the coming years, and have invested heavily in marketing aimed at female consumers. Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. has opened two boutique stores called Chelsea Collective to present merchandise to women in a new format.”

In recognizing that the fitness industry is appealing more and more to the likes of the female demographic, Adidas, back in February 2016, hired Lululemon’s former chief executive, to lead their efforts in effectively expanding to a larger market.

“I look at myself as a free agent,” she said. “I have a choice at this stage in my career to play for the love of the game.”

From her days at Lululemon, Ms. Day said she admired some offerings from Adidas, particularly its Stella McCartney line, but noticed there was work to be done.

“The assets they had, they weren’t always being fully expressed in the marketplace,” she said.

In addition to Day’s remarks regarding the Company’s overall direction, according Adidas Group CEO, the problem can also be attributed to a lack of popularity in comparison to other US brands like Nike, which seem to capture the attention of consumers better than those of foreign brands.

According to Fortune,

“Adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer says, that the company, which is based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, has “not been as present” in American sports as it should have been. “We definitely have made mistakes, there is no doubt,” Hainer told Fortune. “We are everywhere else in the world much more successful. In the U.S., we have not invested enough. I think in hindsight, we have not been as present in American football and in baseball as we should be. These are big sports in America. And I think we need closer contact to the consumer in America.”

Adidas’ overall brand value rings in at $5,000,000,000. Nike? $15,000,000,000.

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