Adidas is the world's #2 sportswear company, behind Nike. Once the leading manufacturer of sports shoes and equipment, Adidas was overtaken by Nike in the 1980s and has lagged behind its bigger rival ever since, especially in the all-important US market. Even Adidas's traditionally strong position in international soccer has come under intense pressure from its American competitor. As a result, the 2006 Fifa World Cup in Adidas's home market of Germany couldn't have come at a better time, and was as hard-fought a battleground for these two rivals as it was for the on-pitch teams. The 2010 tournament four years later arguably swung in Nike's favour. Adidas is determined to regain its lead over Nike, especially in the key US market. Towards that end, it agreed in 2005 to acquire rival manufacturer Reebok, then #2 in the US and #3 globally. However even Adidas has struggled to turn around a steady decline in Reebok's sales since then, and the main brand too suffered something of a plateau, despite what should have been a big boost from the 2014 World Cup. That eventually prompted the resignation of long-serving CEO Herbert Hainer but also a sharp upturn in performance in 2015.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Sep 2017: A recent rebound in performance by Adidas in the US - sales in North America were up 26% in the most recent quarter - is under threat following the arrest of one of the company's marketing executives over allegations of corruption in college basketball. One factor in the upsurge in the German sportswear company's US sales has been its push into college sports, agreeing sponsorships with several leading universities including Miami and Louisville. Federal investigators allege that Jim Gatto, Adidas marketing director for college basketball, arranged six-figure payments to the families of certain high school basketball stars to persuade them to choose Adidas-sponsored universities over rivals. Ten individuals were arrested; Gatto was the only Adidas employee.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Aug 2017: Ads of the Week: "Original is Never Finished 3". Johannes Leonardo signed up a new team of innovators (well, ok, innovators and also Kendall Jenner) to reprise its Original Is Never Finished concept for Adidas. Having already featured both this campaign's predecessors here, we were tempted to overlook the third outing, but the sheer visual brilliance of the film can't and shouldn't be ignored. Not even the bits with Kendall Jenner. Also featured: basketball star James Harden, and rappers 21 Savage, Young Thug and Playboi Carti.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Aug 2017: Adidas also reported a strong first half, with revenues jumping by 20% to E5bn. It raised full-year profits forecasts for the second time in six months. In a separate development, it announced the sale of its CCM ice hockey division, previously a satellite of Reebok, to private equity investors. The price tag was $110m. Adidas has been gradually selling off smaller or non-core businesses to focus on the twin brands of Adidas and Reebok.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Jul 2017: Ads of the Week: "Fan The Fire: Nishchay Luthra". When it comes to global sportswear, football, basketball, tennis, all those big budget sports aren't the only game in town. Adidas has a new campaign out of Cheil celebrating what is probably India's only champion ice-skater. Nishchay Luthra is currently in training in the US for the 2018 Winter Olympics, all on his own, but with strong moral support from his mother and now a powerful endorsement from Adidas. Go Nishchay!
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th May 2017: Adidas finally secured a buyer for its struggling golf division, a year after putting the business up for sale. Brands include TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth, but revenues have been in steep decline for several years. The acquiror is private equity group KPS Capital Partners, which is paying $425m for the company. Sales last year were around $900m, and Adidas Group said it expected to take a loss on the transaction of "high-double-digit to low-triple-digit million euros".
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