Company: Adidas AG
Brand value: US$11,820 million
Headquarter city: Herzogenaurach
Year formed: 1949
adidas is a German-founded global sportswear brand and the largest sporting clothes and footwear name in the world after market leader Nike. It has enjoyed strong growth in recent years, partly due to rising global demand for sports leisure wear, particularly among millennials, and partly as the growth strategies of CEO, Kasper Rorsted, appointed in 2016, begin to bear fruit. The lifestyle category for adidas grew 45 percent in 2016 and its adidas Originals sub-brands has especially benefited from this trend, with its focus on retro designs from adidas heritage such as the classic Superstars, Stan Smiths and Gazelles. The adidas brand is instantly recognizable by the triple stripes on its footwear and the “trefoil” adidas logo, which the company calls “The Badge of Sport”. Men’s footwear is the beating heart of the business, but clothing and the women’s range are increasingly areas of focus.
Unlike rival Nike, adidas collaborates with prominent people outside the sporting industry, and has worked with Porsche Design and designers such as Stella McCartney and Raf Simons. As the brand works to build its profile in the US, which has traditionally been a weak spot, adidas has opened a US factory and signed rapper Kanye West as an ambassador and collaborator on its “Yeezy” collection. It also worked with singer Pharrell Williams on a sneaker line to celebrate the diversity of humanity, called “Hu” or “Human Race”. In sport, as well as sponsoring some of the world’s most successful soccer clubs – including Real Madrid, FC Bayern and Manchester United, and the UEFA Champions League tournament, it is backing grassroots sporting activity and athletes across a range of sports. Digital is central to the adidas growth strategy, and it is investing heavily in technology that allows people to buy online and across channels. There is also a drive to build creative sporting communities focused on six key, trend-setting world cities. adidas employs more than 60,000 people in over 160 countries, and produces more than 850 million product units every year. adidas is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.