SBD/August 18, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Herbert Hainer Stresses Importance Of U.S. Market To Adidas' Growth

Hainer visited adidas' North American HQs in Portland this week
adidas AG Chair & CEO Herbert Hainer this week emphasized that the U.S. market "will be essential to continuing to grow the Adidas brand," according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. During a two-day visit to adidas' North American HQs in Oregon this week, Hainer said, "Everywhere in the world, we are as big or even bigger than Nike -- besides the U.S. This is where the difference is and this is by the far the biggest sporting market." He said that adidas' role as "supplier of MLS uniforms ... has reaped benefits for the company." Hainer: "Football is the biggest sport in the world. By far bigger than baseball, than American football, than basketball. Therefore, it is quite important for us to have a link with the MLS." Brettman notes with the NBA lockout "likely to consume at least a portion of the league's schedule this year, Hainer acknowledged Adidas has a special interest in seeing the conflict resolved as the company is the official supplier of uniforms." He said, "But of course, it is out of our influence. As a sponsor, we would like to see the season start on a regular basis. If that is not the case, we will drive our basketball business anyway." Brettman notes this NFL season is the last that Reebok, an adidas subsidiary, "will serve as official uniform supplier" before Nike assumes that contract. Hainer said that adidas "was happy to see that league's lockout end and that 'we are producing day and night to deliver' team uniforms and licensed merchandise for fans." He acknowledged that the company, after holding the NFL apparel license for 10 years, "was in discussions with the league to continue in that role." Hainer: "Of course we had some interest, but everything has a price and then you have to make a business decision" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/18).

ADIDAS TO OPERATE NBA STORE: The NBA this fall is set to open a new 6,000-square-foot temporary store at 590 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan, between 47th and 48th streets. The store is located four blocks from the previous NBA Store on Fifth Ave., which was shuttered in February after operating since '98. The new temporary store will be run under a partnership with adidas, which will operate the temporary store and a forthcoming permanent NBA Store. The deal with adidas also calls for the company to assume expenses associated with the temporary and permanent retail store (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal).
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