adidas is the Group’s core brand and a leader in the sporting goods market. At the heart of adidas is passion: passion for sports, passion for athletes and passion for products. adidas is a brand built on leading technology and cutting-edge design. It is a brand identified and respected by consumers for its innovative, inspirational and authentic values. adidas is organized into three consumer-oriented product divisions: Forever Sport, Originals and Equipment. This structure is unique to the industry and reflects the brand’s commitment to meet changing market demands, while remaining anchored to its brand principles and heritage. Performance-oriented footwear, apparel and hardware products will always remain the lifeblood of adidas. However, adidas is also committed to incorporating the growing importance of lifestyle, fashion and music inspiration into the sports arena and adidas products. This strategy allows the brand to create a unique adidas experience and mean more to more consumers.
Adi Dassler founded adidas to help athletes perform at the peak of their ability, and this goal continues to drive the brand’s activities today. Forever Sport is focused on meeting the performance needs of all athletes. Forever Sport products are “engineered to perform”, bringing high-level, performance-oriented products and innovative technologies to the market. Forever Sport is structured into five main sports categories: running, basketball, football, tennis and training for sport.
Ground-Breaking Technologies in Running
Running is adidas’ biggest footwear category and the home to high-performance technical apparel. adidas is committed to developing innovative performance-enhancing product for the world’s top runners and occasional athletes alike. Through its sponsorship of the world’s leading marathons, adidas interacts directly with athletes to ensure its products best meet their requirements. Running is the lead category to launch ClimaCool™ and
, the new, ground-breaking footwear technologies introduced in 2002. As a result, strong growth for the running category is anticipated for 2002.
Basketball – Big Game, Big Endeavors
Basketball is a fast-paced game and, for adidas, it ranks as the fastest growing category in the Forever Sport division. adidas’ successful partnerships with major NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady coupled with outstanding new products such as the KOBE
THREE, T-MAC and the All Day All Night II highlight adidas’ commitment to reaching out to young urban consumers. ClimaCool™ and
will bring more exciting design and new technology to the US market as the category is predicted to grow strongly in 2002.
adidas is the undisputed global leader in football: a position to be highlighted this year with adidas’ sponsorship of the 2002 FIFA World Cup™. Delivering innovation in this category began nearly 50 years ago when adidas founder Adi Dassler invented screw-in studs that revolutionized the game. This commitment continues today in ground-breaking products such as the Predator® Mania boot and in long-term partnerships with leading football clubs including Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Ajax Amsterdam.
Tennis Sets New Standards
Tennis is another category where adidas is the global leader in both footwear and apparel sales. Creating performance products that set the industry standard is adidas’ trademark in the category. Product highlights for 2002 include the Barricade, the Feather and the ClimaCool™ tennis shoes. Supporting adidas’ leading market position are also a strong portfolio of young players including Anna Kournikova, Martina Hingis and Marat Safin, as well as sponsorship of important events such as the French Open.
Training for Sport Is Poised For Growth
Training for sport is adidas’ biggest apparel category and an up-and-coming category for footwear. 2002 will bring growth to this category. In particular, women’s product is targeted to grow at double-digit rates in the US and Europe. Better diversification of the range, stronger design and more innovative fabrics will be the highlights of the new product line.
Evidence of Top Technology and Design
In all its product categories, Forever Sport targets athletes seeking functional and stylish products at every level of competition. Meeting the full scope of athletes’ needs is crucial to adidas’ success. Forever Sport products aim to be both highly functional and visually appealing. In this division, adidas is committed to introducing at least one new footwear technology or a major evolution of an existing technology every year. In 2002, adidas is releasing two new footwear technologies, ClimaCool™ and
, as evidence of its commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology to the market.
Improved Product Positioning
adidas strives to have its product offering available in a wide variety of venues to make its products accessible to all relevant consumer groups. One important success story in 2001 was adidas’ cooperation with prominent Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto. For Yamamoto, adidas embodies the values of craftsmanship, honesty and authenticity that he seeks to express in his designs. The evidence of this successful partnership can be found on the catwalks in Paris and in the world’s leading fashion magazines. In 2002 and beyond, adidas-Salomon will continue to extend adidas visibility in both traditional and non-traditional venues.
Global Brand Concepts for 2002
Global brand concepts are used at adidas to unite marketing messages around key products and events. These brand concepts utilize the full range of adidas communication tools in integrated and innovative marketing packages that heighten brand recognition and enhance the brand’s profile globally. The four brand concepts for 2002 are: ClimaCool™,
, the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ and KOBE
Feel the Breeze with ClimaCool™
ClimaCool™ is the new adidas technology designed to keep feet cooler and drier. It combines maximum functionality through a unique 360° ventilation system with progressive and stylish design. Each part of the shoe “breathes”, combining moisture management and maximum ventilation. The result is a shoe that helps the foot maintain its optimal temperature. With a new and highly visible technology, ClimaCool™ will be a cornerstone of the adidas Forever Sport Division in 2002 and beyond.
The ClimaCool™ launch will be supported by a global integrated marketing plan, including television, print and outdoor advertising, internet, point-of-sale and local product launches in markets around the world. Initially offered in four footwear categories (running, basketball, tennis and training), Spring/Summer 2002 is only the beginning for ClimaCool™. Apparel and additional footwear categories will follow in Fall 2002. Other categories will be integrated into the ClimaCool™ family in future seasons.
The Three Benefits of a3
(pronounced a-cubed) is a unique energy management system that is sport-specific and delivers multiple benefits to the consumer.
, guides and drives an athlete’s foot through each stride. It dissipates harmful impact forces, steers the foot through a neutral, biomechanically correct footstrike, stabilizes and protects the foot from overpronation and provides an efficient transition from the rearfoot to the forefoot.
will be a cornerstone of future adidas technology and will significantly raise the brand’s performance credibility. In the coming years, adidas plans to evolve and improve
, integrating it into many other footwear categories.
Running Marathons with a3
is being introduced to runners in April 2002, and launched at selected adidas Marathon Series events in Boston, London, Paris, Rotterdam, Madrid and Prague. The Spring/Summer product will be communicated largely through print media, events, a global internet site, point-of-sale materials and public relations activities. The launch of
in April 2002 is only the beginning. Later in the year, adidas will launch an
basketball shoe with a major NBA player’s endorsement. This partnership will be a long-term one, mirroring the technology’s evolution and improvement from season to season.
Showcasing Football Leadership at the 2002 World Cup
It goes without saying that the FIFA World Cup™ in Japan and Korea will be the biggest sporting event in 2002. As an Official Sponsor, Supplier and Licensee of the 2002 FIFA World Cup™, adidas will have an opportunity to showcase its undisputed football leadership and grow its overall business in Asia. With a cumulative audience of more than 41 billion viewers, the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ will be the biggest World Cup ever. adidas will mark this occasion with a unique Brand Concept developed to extend market leadership in the football business. These activities will include significant television, print and on-site advertising. Creative internet, merchandising and public relations events are also planned.
Leading Football Products
adidas is launching many products in conjunction with the World Cup. In addition to the Predator® Mania boot, key products include the Fevernova™ Official Match Ball with both a dynamic new design and improved accuracy. In apparel, the key word will be DLC, which stands for the new Dynamic Layering Concept; increasing performance, comfort and protection technologies layer by layer in team football apparel.
The Best Player Portfolio
adidas will also be showcasing the best portfolio of players and teams at the 2002 FIFA World Cup™. The list of world-class players wearing the new Predator® Mania boot includes Zinedine Zidane (France), David Beckham (England), Raúl Gonzales (Spain) and Alessandro Del Piero (Italy). And adidas teams have an excellent chance of taking the title with national federations including defending World Champion France, event co-host Japan and football powerhouses Argentina, Germany and Spain, to name a few.
The Future of Football
But adidas is also already looking ahead, beyond 2002. The status as Official Supplier for the UEFA Champions League™ and Official Sponsor of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ will further strengthen adidas’ market leadership. Additionally, the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in China provides an excellent platform to address women in sport.
KOBE – The Power of Style Leaders
adidas has a partnership with one of the most sought-after athletes in the sports industry, NBA champion Kobe Bryant. Kobe is the most marketable player in the National Basketball Association, and arguably the best all-around player in the league. adidas has supported Kobe from his attendance at the adidas “abcd Basketball Camp” (as a high school phenomenon in 1995) through his multiple championships in the NBA. Developed together with Kobe Bryant, adidas’ signature KOBETWO collection, including footwear, apparel and accessories, provides cutting-edge design, while maintaining essential performance features. The KOBE products have been developed to highlight Kobe’s on-court style and to reinforce adidas’ design credentials.
KOBETHREE: A Long-Term Partnership
Set to be launched in 2002, KOBETHREE is the third generation of a long-term partnership. adidas is committed to introducing innovative product and communications to make KOBETHREE an industry leader. The concept will be communicated globally through television, print, point-of-sale, a dedicated internet site, public relations, lifestyle marketing and events. The mission is to capture style leaders in the key basketball market. KOBETHREE will be allocated to ensure that demand and distribution is focused on key accounts. The KOBE signature line is poised for growth in 2002 and the product strategy, design and performance will continue to support this goal in the longer term.
Focus on Lifestyle
The Original division allows adidas to increase its reach into the lifestyle market, without losing sight of its long heritage as the original performance brand. The Original division is geared specifically toward consumers who may be less active sports participants, but who are style setters and style leaders. It is these people who set the trends which are later adopted by the mass market. Originals speak to the needs and values of the lifestyle consumer with concepts that are smart, cool, positive, modern and alive. adidas Originals are the perfect fusion of heritage sport authenticity and global street style.
Reintroduced, Reinterpreted and Redesigned
With demand for limited editions and vintage reissues at a continued high, Originals are able to draw on adidas’ vast product heritage in the creation of Trefoil-branded footwear, apparel and accessories. Each collection is a balance of Reintroduced (one-to-one replicas reissued in limited quantities), Reinterpreted (material updates of successful models), and Redesigned (new models inspired by original performance products) items.
Every Trefoil Has a Story
Original division marketing utilizes a global print campaign, which runs in trend magazines in major markets. The advertising concept and tag line, “Every Trefoil has a Story”, communicates the original sporting story behind each product. The “once innovative, now classic, always authentic” positioning of the Original division appeals stylistically to the Originals target audience. The art direction varies from execution to execution, visually communicating the design, style and cultural aesthetics of the time the product was first introduced. An accompanying website www.adidas.com/Originals
was launched at the same time along with comprehensive retail and PR initiatives.
In 2001, the Original division launched a capsule apparel collection in key markets. In 2002, the official launch will be extended to virtually all regional markets. The division is already very successful, exceeding sales goals earlier than anticipated. While a clear volume opportunity exists for Originals products, longer-term success requires careful distribution of the right products to the right retailers and consumers. As new silhouettes and styles make their way from the style setters to the larger marketplace, adidas will continue to offer exclusive low-volume, high-image pieces to top-end consumers. At the same time, the brand will aggressively build up the lifestyle apparel and accessories business, targeting new distribution channels and working with the best of adidas’ established retail partners.
Originals Stores in Key Metropoles
To underscore the unique product placement that adidas believes is essential to maximizing the potential of adidas Originals with relevant lifestyle consumers, adidas Originals stores were opened in Berlin and Tokyo in 2001. These venues provide the ideal stage for the Originals concept at retail and allow the brand to initiate new trends through direct contact with consumers. An additional store is planned to open in the United States in 2002.
The world of sports and athletes has changed a lot in the past decade. Aesthetics plays a much more significant role in sports and with athletes than it did in the past. Today, sport is not only about winning and losing but also about entertainment and fashion.
Making Products More Meaningful
Lifestyle and fashion influences can no longer be ignored when it comes to sport. Athletes have become more stylish and that has strong impacts on adidas’ consumer base. adidas Equipment will target 25- to 40-year-old working professionals who understand and appreciate sport. Innovations in design mean a lot to them because their life-styles are sophisticated and demanding. Product quality is an important buying parameter, therefore branded products rank high. To meet the needs of this demanding and quickly growing segment, adidas Equipment will pre-launch a unique line of premium footwear and apparel in Fall/Winter 2002.
Adding a New Dimension
adidas Equipment will give brand adidas a new dimension in image and push the brand into an exciting premium segment. The adidas Equipment product range combines sport demands and feel with cutting-edge aesthetic design. Motion is the connection between all these products, a theme interpreted in all categories. The division’s primary focus will be on footwear. Designs will be subtle and products will be targeted for both “on and off the court” use by consumers. To build a premium label, adidas will invest in a fully-integrated marketing program to be launched in Spring 2003. The tool-box of marketing instruments will consist of public relations, print and multimedia activities that will support the division.