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ADIDAS WHITTLES AWAY AT U.S. MARKETS; EYES WALL STREET
Published March 19, 1998
adidas and company Chair Robert Louis-Dreyfus are profiled by John Tagliabue in the business section of the N.Y. TIMES, under the piece on Nike's decreasing third quarter earnings. Tagliabue writes that Louis-Dreyfus "has turned things around" at adidas, pouring "large sums into creating a cooler image for Adidas with young people tired of Nike's in-your-face style." Louis-Dreyfus: "We're going in the right direction." But Nike GM Central Europe Stefano Caroti said that adidas "is building its recent success by using Nike's winning formulas." Caroti: "They're copying us, from our ads to our products. You put a swoosh at the end of their commercials, they're ours." Louis-Dreyfus said adidas "is less centralized than Nike," and "less dependent on American superstars." Louis-Dreyfus, on Nike's Phil Knight: "He's the Disney of sports, into the marketing of sports at the entertainment end. We try to be more cosmopolitan" (John Tagliabue, N.Y. TIMES, 3/19). WHAT'S AHEAD: While adidas has "gained ground in more popular sports" in the U.S. by signing "big-name athletes," Louis-Dreyfus said his "top priority" is to "accelerate growth in the [U.S.] by continuing to whittle away at the market shares of Reebok and Fila." adidas also plans an IPO on Wall Street "as early as next year" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/19).