The fight for control of the U.S. sneaker market continues to be an uphill battle for adidas, who currently holds a 4.4 percent of stateside footwear sales. Meanwhile, Nike and Jordan Brand combine for almost 60 percent of the market, a number that seems insurmountable no matter which way you slice it, says Financial Times. But it doesn't end there.
"Outside the U.S. there is much greater parity between Nike and Adidas. But the U.S. is the epicenter of the global sneaker/'athleisure' market. Ultimately, to win globally, sneaker brands must win in the U.S.. Nike has a deep and rich understanding of the U.S. sneaker consumer," industry expert Matt Powell said.
However, this is a two-sided coin. While adidas has been placing emphasis on improving its U.S. shares, it's allowed Nike to sneak up from behind in an area where they should have no business outperforming them — western Europe.
"Alarmingly for adidas, Nike has caught up in its core western Europe market, and may overtake it in the short term," Euromonitor analyst Natasha Cazin said. This is obviously a crucial market for adidas, as the German-based company has traditionally dominated western Europe. According to Euromonitor, adidas and Nike were neck-and-neck in western Europe for 2014, with each pulling in 12.8 percent shares.
Sales aside, there's another area where adidas has been struggling to keep up: social media. Analysts discovered that Nike has actually done the unthinkable and topped adidas in Facebook likes in Germany and several other major European markets. So what can adidas to to turn things around?
"adidas undoubtedly needs to improve brand perceptions among younger consumers," analysts said. In order to achieve this, the brand has upped its focus on marketing and made changes to its soccer, fitness tracking, and athleisure offerings, hoping to tap into the trends that resonate most with younger demographics.
According to Matt Powell, adidas is headed in the right direction, but only time will tell if it can turn things around before it's too late. "adidas has made the right decisions to move global product and marketing to the U.S. Hopefully they will develop a less European-centric point of view," Powell said.