While the success of sneakers like the Pure Boost and ZX Flux would lead you to believe that adidas is killing it, things aren't exactly rosy behind the scenes. In February, we covered the company's plan to focus on the dwindling US market, as well as the struggles of long-standing CEO Herbert Hainer. Now, the Wall Street Journal is shedding some more light on the brand's market woes here in the States.
“The U.S. is 40 percent of the world’s sneaker market and 100 percent of the world’s sneaker culture. To win the world, you need to win the U.S.," explained industry analyst Matt Powell. And he's right on both counts—in 2013, United States sports apparel and footwear revenues came in at $51.6 billion, a whopping 43 percent of all global sales. However, it's his second point that really hits home for the Three Stripes.
When it comes to sneakers, the U.S. has major influence on deciding what's "cool" and what isn't. For many young consumers, that means the brands they see their favorite athletes wearing. More often than not, those brands are Nike and Air Jordan, whose North American sales increased 10 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, adidas saw its shares slip 7 percent.
One area where adidas is extremely dominant is soccer, although its popularity in the States is dwarfed by sports like basketball, baseball, and football. In order to counteract this, the brand is taking major strides to get its product onto the playing field. The Three Stripes have already signed two of the NBA's brightest young players in Damian Lillard and Andrew Wiggins, and are rapidly branching out elsewhere.
"America is a very different mind-set from Germany. That’s really the epiphany. I know we’re a soccer brand globally, but in the U.S. we have to be about U.S. sport," said new North America president Mark King, who recently put a plan into action that will sponsor up to 500 NFL and MLB players over the next few years.
There's clearly a long road ahead for adidas, but it looks like the brand is making the right moves to position themselves for success in the States. You can read the full article at Wall Street Journal.
[via Wall Street Journal]