Adidas' King Touts Direction Of North American Properties, Not Phased By Nike Competition
adidas Group North America President Mark King has only been on the job since April, but he does "not appear phased by the thought of the head-to-head competition" with Nike, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. adidas in May reported a decline in its Q1 earnings, "citing slumping revenue at TaylorMade Golf as well as a poor euro exchange rate, among other things." But King said that he is "undaunted." Referring to his athlete endorsers, King said, "We have more assets than we know what to do with. Do the guys across town have more than we do? Sure they do. But we have enough." King was "reluctant Thursday to discuss specific aspects" of adidas' strategy in North America. He said that operations there were "likely to be cut back somewhat in the future." King: "We have so many categories and we do almost everything and we do it broadly and about this deep. I'd like to focus in on a few things and spend more money on a few things rather than less money on a lot of things." King added that adidas "hadn't decided which areas would be de-emphasized but said soccer would not be one of them." King: "It's who we are, it's the soul of the company. It's what drives the economic engine globally." King said that on "top of that, Adidas' success in the just-ended World Cup -- with two of its sponsored teams competing in the final and Germany, from the company's home country, emerging as the winner -- 'has energized the company.'" King said that he will travel to N.Y. soon to "meet with representatives of several other professional sports leagues." A separate meeting is "planned Sept. 5" with the NHL, for which Reebok is the uniform supplier. That contract "extends through" the '17-18 season. adidas last season was "rumored to be planning to replace Reebok as the logo on NHL jerseys." King said that that decision "remains in the air until the company is certain of its direction with the NHL after the current contract expires" (Portland OREGONIAN, 7/18).