Adidas is the number two sporting goods maker in the world, second to Nike. The company has long focused on being the footwear for sports and high performance. The company has three components: Adidas, Reebok, newly acquired in 2006, and TaylorMade, well known on the Pro Am Golf Tour. (Adidas Group Annual Report, 2008) This marketing plan will focus on the Adidas brand.
While research indicates there’s a belief that Adidas makes better footwear than Nike (Vertical Ascent Website), it has been unsuccessful in penetrating the young hip-hop crowd. With a generation that has grown up with i-pods, blogs and video games, Adidas is looking to appeal to his younger generation through technology that they have become used to using. (Marina, 2009) Adidas 1, claimed to be the world’s first computerized smart shoe, went on sale March 18, 2005.
Adidas has long focused on being the footwear for sports and high performance with its core base being sports. According to the Adidas Group 2008 Annual Report, the company targets three brands: sports performance, sports heritage and sports styles. It’s known for its technological innovation and cutting edge design, with its mission being to challenge and lead through creativity. Adidas has positioned itself as a leader in professional and competitive sports, notably soccer, basketball, and running.
As the technology permeates everyday life, Adidas hopes to live up to their changing expectations and deliver the best consumer experience through using creative new initiatives including interactive fitting footwear for peak performance and fit. With that focus on technological innovation, Adidas is going high tech, with everything from high tech sneakers, high tech virtual stores, and high tech promotion. This high tech is not just for show or glitz.
It has a purpose – to deliver the best fitting, and best performing footwear tailored to the consumer’s individual needs. Adidas is hoping the high tech approach will eliminate potential customer dissatisfaction through virtual fitting. This eliminates producing shoes that don’t fit properly or perform well. It also leads to the best fit for the best performance out of footwear, something desired by professional or amateur athletes, as well as anyone embarking upon a running or fitness program.
Adidas is looking at the changing interests of the up and coming market who also have i-pods, video games, email, internet, youtube and other highly technological devises as a way of life rather than traditional television or print media. With this change in media delivery, there’s also a change from it being one way to two-way communication, and with rapid advances in technology, they expect new and different things, and new and different footwear and sportswear is a way to reach that market.
With an emphasis on fitness in today’s world, Adidas must create an image that Adidas footwear excels for everyone who is looking to improve their health. The goal is to maintain its traditional base as well while developing a technological environment that will broaden appeal to a younger consumer. Adidas’ strategy is to come up with a technology that meets a consumer need – excellent fitting footwear that has top notch performance.
By having technology where one is not just fitted for the footwear, but also can gauge them for exact pressure and running posture, the company continues to follow its positioning as being the world’s favorite footwear for sports, and setting the pace for their footwear to meet their customer’s performance needs. The company is taking that image to its traditional promotional use of television and print advertising, as well as its exclusivity banners at major sporting events, especially European soccer matches.
It also has made deals with professional football players and the New York Yankees to endorse Adidas. The company is the official sponsor of the 2008 Beijing Olympics that will reach millions, billions, and potentially open up strong Chinese Markets, and renew interest in sports performance which will lead to increased sales Adidas is distributed in corporate stores, throughout the web, high end sporting stores, the internet, and more limitedly in sporting goods stores throughout the US and Europe.
It is also rethinking its distribution practices after last year’s purchase of Reebok and will close Reebok sports apparel and sneaker distribution centers in Massachusetts, Tennessee and Kentucky, and move those operations to an expanded center in South Carolina.
Spartanburg was chosen for the two brands’ consolidated distribution center in part because it’s close to the two brands’ product shipping locations and to many customers (The Associated Press, 2008) Adidas high tech strategy is moving into its internal operations departments, adopting a better delivery system, increasing retail distribution, and taking customer service to a new level, beyond satisfaction to delight, thus trying to obtain return and possibly ifetime customers, something that would be very profitable for the company. The company can benchmark its success by measuring sales, web traffic to its innovative color based on-line advertisements that never mention the product, the number of downloaded pod casts and the number of visits to their Paris high-tech store.
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