Adidas : advertising & marketing profile

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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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Which agencies handle advertising for Adidas? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database

Who are the competitors of Adidas? Rivals include Nike, Puma and New Balance. See also Clothing & Fashion Sector index

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The Adbrands Company Profile of Adidas summarises the company's history and current operations. Subscribers may access the following website links:

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Adidas TaylorMade
Reebok Adidas Golf
Y-3 Adidas Originals

Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Social Media 31st Jul 2019: "The Deal". Iris has steadily edged out TBWA and 72andSunny to become Adidas's main global partner in football, and clearly has its eyes set on an even larger prize. This latest stitches together contributions from all 21 of the brand's most famous player partners - we don't envy the poor soul in charge of coordinating the diaries of the world's top footballers - to form a trippy warning of what it takes to become one of them. Selling your soul to the football devil may well be part of the deal.

Adbrands Daily Update 13th May 2019: Adidas is understood to have set a new record for football sponsorship, renewing its partnership with Real Madrid - already well-established as the world's richest football club - at a price rumoured to be €1bn over eight years. No price was officially disclosed, with Real confirming only a deal that is "unprecedented in the history of the sports industry". Adidas has been Real Madrid's apparel sponsor since 1998. The renewal will extend that partnership until 2028.

Adbrands Daily Update 4th Apr 2019: Beyonce signed a partnership deal with Adidas, which will involve the launch of a new footwear and apparel range as well as the relaunch of her athleisure brand Ivy Park. She bought back control of that business last year from former joint venture partner Arcadia Group following the controversy surrounding owner Philip Green. Under the new arrangement with Adidas she will retain full ownership of Ivy Park.

Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Jun 2018: Ads Of The Week "Create the Answer". Blink and you'll miss one famous face or another in this thrilling new spot from 72andSunny for Adidas, kicking off the sportswear brand's World Cup campaign. No fewer than 56 star athletes (practising or retired), musicians. models and other notables make a cameo appearance in the course of just 90 seconds. The whole thing is framed as the sort of party you wish you'd been invited to, shot so casually that it looks as if no work whatsoever was involved in making it happen. We're betting, though, it took days on-set and then days more in post-production. Worth it though. It's our choice for Best World Cup 2018 ad to-date. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Mar 2018: Ads of the Week: "Watch Me Create". Iris keeps it tricky in the new campaign for Adidas in which star players Paul Pogba, Leo Messi (or is that actually actor Christian Bale?) and Luis "Bitey" Suarez have been invited to direct (supposedly) their own commercials, here mashed up in a three-way compilation. Our guess is that this is probably the football equivalent of the celebrity novel. The boys no doubt had more than a little ghost help from real director Gerson Aguerri. We noted last week how the rough and ragged style adopted in Europe by Adidas over the past couple of years, of which this is another great example, has slowly bled through to Nike's latest ads as well, not least that splendid LDNR spot. 

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