Adidas On The Decline in America
What feels like days long since passed, I have fancied myself a “sneaker aficionado,” or what urban America simply refers to today as — a hypebeast. Whether it was stacking my lunch money to save up for the new Jays, waiting over night outside in the rain for “Invisible Air Force Ones” (true story), or visiting Soho every weekend to only come back with one article of clothing… I was DOING IT.
Now, if you were to ever visit my arguably absurd sneaker collection, you would notice that roughly 80%-90% of the kicks are made by Nike. Whether Jordan Brand or a pair of the Air Max family, it’s safe to say I’ve been a “Nike Head,” as the kids call it or even a “#SwooshLifer,” as LeBron James has been referring to himself lately.
Somewhere within the 20% that we might as well consider the “others,” my collection also boasts quite a few pairs of Adidas. Adidas being the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, I have it in my Balkan blood to show an appreciation for the company. And that’s exactly where the German multinational company falters. It’s lost its touch with its American consumers.
Sales for Adidas Have Been Falling Dramatically
They have in the U.S. for the past 3 years so much that Adidas is no longer the number 2 company in sportswear behind Nike, due to the recent emergence of Under Armour which is now Nike’s biggest competitor. Reports have signaled that ‘the three stripes’ stopped listening to retailers’ opinions on what kinds of styles would sell in America. Their North American chief Mark King even stated, “America is a very different mind-set from Germany, That’s really the epiphany.”…Ya think?
Another point of emphasis on their downfall is failing to capitalize on endorsements. Currently, 283 NBA players are rocking the swoosh, while only 70 are sporting the stripes. A huge disparity considering all the money Adidas puts into its basketball technology, and don’t even get me started on how they passed up on Michael Jordan, whose brand has currently been generating billions of dollars.
In 2005, Adidas purchased Reebok — a disaster. So bad that Adidas had to take money out of its main brand to improve Reebok’s business. A former executive even stated, “From the moment we started looking at the numbers, we knew it was a screwed-up business and that we’d paid too much.” Adidas bought Reebok for $3.8 billion. Yikes. Although Adidas’ sales have been on the decline in the U.S., and shares fell roughly 40%, reports claim that the company intends to implement more of an “American flavor” to its products in the upcoming years. We’ll be watching.