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 Weekly Update:

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. 

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 €5bn. 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.

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