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AN AMERICAN REVIVAL: ADIDAS MAKES STRIDES SINCE '93
Published September 26, 1995
The resurgance of Adidas is profiled by Greg Pesky in the current issue of SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS. The company, which was "driven down by former management who believed the tradition and equity were enough to power sales," has been on the way back over the past two years. In '93, Adidas AG acquired Sports Inc., a sports marketing and design firm, and appointed Peter Moore and the late Rob Strasser to head up the American operations. Moore says the company was "misguided in the U.S. for quite some time," but now they are a "much better" company in the U.S. Sales for Adidas America have jumped more than $200M since '93, with the '95 total expected to pass $500M. WHY THE CHANGE? SGB's Pesky writes that "as much as the company's revival is due to a global refocusing," it is also due to "significant strides in a number of key categories." One has been apparel, which is expected to account for 40% of the company's annual income by the end of '96. In particular is a focus on women's and children's lines, and being "functionally- oriented rather than sport specific." Adidas America has also improved delivery to retailers and has been a "stronger partner operationally." WHAT'S NEXT? An area that has "piqued interest" at Adidas is licensed sports apparel, as insiders say they were interested in acquiring Apex One last year. The company is currently developing "evolutionary" licensed soccer apparel in Europe that they could sell in the U.S., they also have a deal with the MLS to sell licensed apparel and has a partnership to sell NBA apparel in Europe. The company is also taking a "different marketing approach" than other brands, as they have yet to make major endorsement deals, but have paid to sign a "number of college teams to provide increased recognition" of the Adidas cleated line -- including a multi-year deal with the Univ. of Nebraska beginning this season (SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS, 9/95 issue).