Can a foreign shoe brand make a major impact in a market where Nike reigns supreme? Reebok has done so, time and again, and now Adidas is making their play. Maybe they can win if they keep their focus.
The biggest hurdle for Adidas is that this will not be their first foray into the American market. They have been there before. In fact, Adidas was once the brand of choice
for many in the United States. But their fortunes fell, and Nike surged ahead. Then came small, but faster growing Under Armour. Both brands made huge market gains at the expense of once thriving brands such as Adidas. But now Adidas is fighting back — and they have a very clear attack plan.
Adidas is going after the public relations angle by hoping to conscript hundreds of professional athletes in the NFL and MLB. Step one was to strike a deal with the governing bodies of the NFL and MLB to allow players to wear Adidas branded gear during games — without having to cover up the logo.
Until the ink dried on that contract, players sponsored by Adidas had to cover up the iconic triple-stripe logo. But an agreement has been reached, so fans can expect to see Adidas branded cleats, gloves, and compression sleeves by the time the first pitches are made in spring training. Well, that’s if Adidas can accomplish job one — recruiting players.
Even though Nike still has uniform rights in the NFL and Majestic maintains uniform rights in MLB, there are still opportunities for Adidas in the vital space of TV branding. It’s exactly the right thing to do. For better or worse, fans buy the brands they see their favorite players wearing. Period. Every other consideration is secondary.
Adidas knows that, so they are working hard to connect with the public — and improve their image in the field and their sales in the stores. The only other alternative may be to get Run-DMC to come out of retirement.
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.
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