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Archive for the ‘Adidas’ Category

FIFA sponsors express concern over troubles within organization

Posted by ZA on May 31, 2011

You can add sponsors to the growing list of people who have expressed concerned over the goings on at FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.  SportBusiness reports that Adidas and Coca-Cola have both publicly responded to questions about corruption allegations within FIFA.  The sponsors say the reports are “distressing” and “neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners”.  What does this mean for FIFA?  Nothing yet, but it’s never a good sign when the people helping fund your organization are starting to lob concern grenades through the press.  I doubt that Adidas or Coca-Cola cancels their association with FIFA over these allegations, but I’m sure I would have said similar about Gatorade and Tiger Woods a couple of years ago.  Sponsors are not going pay to have their brands dragged through the mud, so FIFA needs to get a handle on this situation before they start losing money.

What is the solution for FIFA?  They clearly need to offer more transparency into their process.  They need to engage an outside organization to help them root out corruption within their ranks, as many that bribery and pay for votes is common place even at their highest organization levels.  FIFA probably needs to start over with new leadership because I’m not sure the current administration can be seen as credible in cleaning up FIFA.  Sepp Blatter is about to get re-elected to a final four year term.  He’s had some success in leading the organization, but he’s not been able to put to rest the corruption allegations.  Some of which are coming from the British Parliament.  I think major changes within FIFA are the only way to truly start to put these allegations in the past.  Will Mr. Blatter step down?  Not likely.  Will FIFA become more transparent?  I’m not expecting changes.  Will FIFA continue to be mired in controversy?  Most likely.  Will sponsors pull out?  That remains to be seen, but the first cracks in the foundation have clearly appeared with those statements by Adidas and Coca-Cola.

Posted in Adidas, Soccer | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

TaylorMade-Adidas with “world’s longest job interview”

Posted by ZA on July 27, 2010

TaylorMade-Adidas have come up with a unique promotion to find their next Social Media Catalyst.  The promotion is actually a job interview in which the two finalists for the position travel around the globe playing golf.  Their assignment is to chronicle their journey via social media; whichever candidate gets the buzz will land the position at TaylorMade-Adidas.  I think this is a great idea by the company to generate some inexpensive buzz.  Also its the kind of thing that will get them a lot of attention from talented workers who may want to join such a progressive company.  My prediction is TaylorMade-Adidas probably winds up hiring them of the candidates competing for Social Media Catalyst.

Read the full story here at AdAge.

Adidas is the parent company for TaylorMade, they acquired them in 1997.  The TaylorMade-Adidas combination generated over $800 million in sales in 2009, which was down a bit from previous years. TaylorMade-Adidas generated over $1 billion in revenue as recently as 2006.  TaylorMade manufactures clubs & golf balls, while Adidas sells golf apparel and shoes.

Some of the more notable professional golfers who endorse TaylorMade-Adidas are:
Paula Creamer (LPGA)
Jim Furyk
Sergio Garcia
Retief Goosen
Dustin Johnson
Kenny Perry
Justin Rose
Mike Weir

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Golf, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nike won’t compromise brand for Women’s footwear

Posted by ZA on June 7, 2010

AdAge article about  the strong growth that Skechers and Reebok are seeing from their marketing of toning shoes to women.  Both Reebok and Skechers grew their market share of women’s shoes close to 200% in the past 12 months.  During that same period Nike and Adidas market share in that category declined (Note: Reebok is subsidiary of Adidas).

The article attributes much of Reebok and Skechers growth to the successful launch of shoes that focus on toning. Skechers shoes have an uneven sole that is supposed to tone legs and butt while you walk in them.  Reebok has recently started pushing similar toning shoes with an aggressive marketing campaign that focuses solely on women’s butts and legs.

While those two brands are enjoying the new toning category, Nike is sitting it out.  Nike says it will “compromise…performance” in their shoes and has not indicated they will release any shoes in these category to compete with Skechers or Reebok.  Instead Nike pointed to a new line of women’s training shoes they will release this Fall.

While I appreciate Nike’s unwillingness to chase a fad, I think they are missing an opportunity here.  I’ve seen lots of women I know wearing the Skechers toning shoes.  Why couldn’t Nike developing something in the space and market it as a lifestyle shoe, thus not “compromising” their standards on performance or training footwear.  Nike needs to be careful here because they might wind up giving up more than just this one (toning) category of shoes, they may wind up conceding a large piece of market share in women’s footwear and apparel.

Can Reebok overtake Nike?

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Nike, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Adidas launches Star Wars themed collection

Posted by ZA on January 18, 2010

Nice opportunity for Adidas to tap into the hardcore Star Wars fan market.  Passionate Star Wars fan are going to buy and wear the gear, which should generate some strong revenue and brand awareness for Adidas.  My only question is will Adidas or Nike be the first to cut the same type of deal with Star Trek, everyone knows those Trekkies have huge buying power.

See the new Adidas Star Wars clothes and shoes.

Posted in Adidas | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Evaluating my 2009 Sports Marketing predictions

Posted by ZA on January 3, 2010

Time to take a look back and evaluate how I did on my 2009 predictions for the world of Sports Marketing. I posted my “bold predictions” on January 2, 2009 as a wide ranging look at some of the big moves I thought would happen in the industry.  I made seven predictions and wind up getting almost half of them correct.

Prediction: Tiger Woods will sign with Mercedes or BMW.

Result: This one did not happen, but who could have predicted the implosion that would happen to Tiger Woods the endorsement star in 2009.  Tiger is currently losing endorsements by the week, but I still think this prediction will eventually come true.  Companies will stay away from Woods for awhile, but when they do come back I expect Tiger to pickup a luxury car endorsement deal.

Prediction: Wrigley Field gets a new name.

Result: This one didn’t happen, although the Cubs were finally sold at the end of the year so it could be on-tap for 2010.

Prediction: AIG will end uniform sponsorship with Manchester United.
Result: I got this one right.  Shortly after writing these predictions word came out that AIG would discontinue their deal with Man U.  AIG actually just chose not to renew their deal, but close enough I got this one right.

Prediction: NASCAR will cut races.

Result: It was a tough year for Nascar with a tough economy and huge losses in the auto industry both hurting the sport.  The end result was that some races were not return to the schedule (e.g.- Milwaukee Mile in 2010).

Prediction: Reebok will be folded by Adidas.

Result: This did not happen, and with parent company, Adidas’ stock up 20% in 2009, the Reebok brand might be safe for awhile.  That said, I still think we’re still headed towards an Adidas versus Nike world, so at some point Adidas is going to put Reebok down.

Prediction: Under Armour will be acquired by Nike.

Result: This did not happen, but I still feel it’s one that could happen soon.  Under Armour’s stock is only up slightly since beginning of ’09 and UA stock took a pounding in October when they missed the mark with their expansion into running shoes.  Nike is still flying high and has a $30 billion market cap, so I think they eventually make this acquisition to eliminate a big competitor.

Prediction: David Beckham goes back to Europe.
Result: Nailed this prediction.  Becks came, he played a little bit and created a sensation.  Then David high tailed it back to the Spanish Premiere League.  I think Beckham likes the idea of playing in America, but isn’t really interested in doing it just yet.

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Golf, Nascar, Nike, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing, Under Armour, Venue Naming Rights | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Under Armour too aggressive in footwear?

Posted by ZA on November 3, 2009

Under Armour has been a favorite brand in the sports world for over a decade.  The Under Armour story has been a case study in success; a tiny company that makes good competing against the giants in their space (i.e.- Nike & Adidas).  They’ve grown up a lot from those early days in founder Kevin Plank’s basement; Under Armour is now a publicly traded company (NYSE: UA) with almost a billion dollars in revenue.

One of the characteristics that has made Under Armour successful is their aggressive attitude towards growth.  They quickly diversified from an innovative apparel company into many other facets of the sportswear industry, including athletic footwear.  With each new expansion of their business they seemed to thumb their nose at the established players in that space and set their sights on domination.  Under Armour’s bravado was never more obvious then when they used the tagline “The future is ours” during their 2008 Super Bowl spot.  But these days Under Armour is discovering that being one of the biggest brands in their space, a successful publicly traded company, has some downside.

Under Armour expansion into footwear has not gone as smoothly as planned, which has caused analysts and investors to loudly criticize UA’s moves thereby pummeling their stock price.  This AdAge article says that analysts have characterized Under Armour’s moves as “weak”; particularly the decision by the company to pull back on how aggressively they plan to expand their shoe line.    The negative attention has caused Under Armour’s stock price to drop dramatically to $26 per share from its previous 52-week high of $33 per share (Source: Yahoo Finance).  It also means that Under Armour has some tough sledding ahead if it wants to continue to live up to its aggressive brand image.

Their are still big opportunities available to Under Armour in the athletic footwear category, but they might need to be a little more conservative.  Perhaps they should follow the advice one expert said and grow things a little slower.  Try to develop their niche in the shoe market organically, rather than forcing their way with a big media blitz (i.e.- Super Bowl commercial).  There is a lot of established competition in shoes and Under Armour isn’t entering the space with anything revolutionary like they did in sports apparel with their moisture wicking shirts.  If I was Under Armour I would try to focus on a certain niche in shoes, like: football cleats, workout shoes or casual shoes.  Once successful in that space, then I would grow their product line into the more competitive categories like running shoes.  Sometimes bigger isn’t better, even for big brands like Under Armour.

under_armour_logo

Under Armour

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Nike, Sports Brands, Under Armour | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Gatorade’s “Be Like Mike” a trend setter

Posted by ZA on October 27, 2009

Gatorade started airing their “Be Like Mike” commercials in 1991.  The commercials starred global basketball icon, Michael Jordan, in a series of off-court clips with footage of his NBA games intermingled.  The catchy “Be Like Mike” provided the background theme for these spots.  Suffice to say the commercials were an instant hit and people around the world began repeating the phrase every time they hit the basketball court.  I remember a few memorable attempts of my own to “Be Like Mike” while goofing around on the basketball court.

Gatorade – “Be Like Mike” commercial

What wasn’t known at that time is the influence the “Be Like Mike” commercials by Gatorade would have on sports marketing.  How many other brands would copy the formula in successful future commercials.  The formula: catchy tune plus fast action of filmed spots and clips of game action all mixed together.  Gatorade set a standard back in 1991 that has been copied by some of the biggest name in sports since then.

Nike

Adidas

Nike

Posted in Adidas, Gatorade, Nike, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Endorsement merry-go-round: Puma to Nike to Adidas

Posted by ZA on October 20, 2009

What happens when athletes switch their allegiance from one sports brand to another?  They usually pick up a bigger paycheck.  These days the goal of the big brands is to lock up their talent for the long haul.  The term “lifetime deals” have come into play with athletes like Allen Iverson (Reebok) and Tiger Woods (Nike).  Those type of deals originated with Michael Jordan who has been Nike’s shining star for a quarter of a decade.

But there are some athletes who switch brands. Here are 8 NBA stars who changed their sneaker deals:
Kobe Bryant: Adidas to Nike
Vince Carter: Puma to Nike
Baron Davis: Reebok to Li-Ning
Tim Duncan: Nike to Adidas
Kevin Garnett: Nike to And 1 to Adidas
Jason Kidd: Nike to Peak
Stephon Marbury: And 1 to Starbury
Chris Webber: Nike to Dada
Source: Complex.com

Li-Ning and Peak are both Chinese brands.  Starbury was a line of discount shoes started by Steve & Barry’s; the chain liquidated their stores in 2008 but the shoes/apparel continue to be promoted by Marbury. Dada may or may not still be in business – most of the stuff about them I could find is dated, so I can’t tell.  I guess that’s what happens when you select Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell to endorse your product.

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Endorsement Deals, NBA, Nike, Sports Brands | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shoe companies use blogs to launch new brands

Posted by ZA on October 19, 2009

The internet has changed the way that most companies release their new products.  Back in the days Nike might buy a glossy advertisement in Sports Illustrated to initially introduce a new shoe.  Then the week of the shoe’s launch they would place half-page ads in sports section of newspapers in the top 20 markets.  They would support this with some radio and possible a few TV spots during big games.  It worked then…

Now Nike is just as likely to promote a new shoe by sending out information to a bunch of influential bloggers.  They not only save money promoting their product in this manner, but are also getting a better ROI on the marketing dollars. This network of blogs has a loyal, engaged following that are the “early influencers” target that the company needs for their new product.  The guy who reads engadget everyday is more likely than me to buy the latest & greatest product from Samsung.  So when Samsung wants to get the word out, they go to Engadget.

This Brandweek article talks about that phenomena in the tennis shoe market.  How a handful of influential blogs (bloggers) are being used by Adidas, Nike, Puma, Reebok, etc. to help push their latest offerings.

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Nike | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Adidas making another push in NBA

Posted by ZA on October 15, 2009

Adidas trails way behind Nike when it comes to basketball.  Nike has more prominent NBA stars endorsing their product (e.g.- Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant) than Adidas, which has translated into much larger market share for Nike.  Nike has had so much success in the NBA that it even has it’s owned themed basketball shoes, the Jordan Brand.

But Adidas is content to concede the category to Nike and has launched a new campaign to promote the 3 stripes.  The new Adidas campaign is “celebrating basketball as a brotherhood” and features Adidas’ most prominent NBA endorsement stars; Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Derrick Rose.  Adidas hopes that putting all of their big names together in these segments will outshine any individual endorser that Nike has.  This campaign is an extension of their 2007 “Basketball is a brotherhood” theme.

adidas_logo

Top NBA stars that endorse Adidas:
Gilbert Arenas
Chauncey Billups
Tim Duncan
Kevin Garnett
Tracy McGrady
Derrick Rose
Josh Smith

Top NBA endorsers for Nike:
Ray Allen (Jordan Brand)
Carmelo Anthony (Jordan Brand)
Kobe Bryant
Kevin Durant
Blake Griffin (rookie)
Richard Hamilton (Jordan Brand)
Lebron James
Joe Johnson (Jordan Brand)
Chris Paul (Jordan Brand)
Dwayne Wade (Jordan Brand)

Top NBA endorsers for Reebok:

Baron Davis
Allen Iverson
Al Jefferson
Yao Ming

Top NBA endorsers for Converse:
Kirk Hinrich
Elton Brand

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, NBA, Nike | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »