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THE GREAT ERB: ADIDAS SPORTS MARKETER PROFILED BY BRANDWEEK
Published November 5, 1997
Robert Erb, adidas' Dir of Sports Marketing, is named one of BRANDWEEK's "'98 Hot Marketers" and profiled by Terry Lefton. In charge of landing sports sponsorships, signing endorsers and running promos that leverage its properties, Erb "has a lot to do with maintaining a genuine sports heritage positioning" at adidas. Lefton adds that as it "makes its way back into America's brand consciousness," adidas is "unquestionably the brand Nike worries about most." Erb: "If Nike is 'sports as entertainment,' and Reebok seems to be reinventing itself constantly, we're back with sports for its own sake." Lefton adds that Erb has secured sponsor deals with "top" NCAA schools, NBA/WNBA league deals, and is close to a deal with the NFL "that should get" adidas shoes on NFL fields "now restricted to Nike and Reebok," but Erb's "biggest coup" was adidas' comprehensive "renegade" deal with the Yankees. Erb also heads the company's "athlete endorsers, dominated by teenagers." Erb: "We look for youth and potential. Kobe [Bryant] is not [Michael] Jordan, but if there is another Jordan, he might be it" (BRANDWEEK, 11/3 issue).