It’s been 73 years since Adi Dassler presented
Despite all his success, the Three Stripes took a handful of low blows. Ye sparked controversy after claiming adidas stole his shoe designs and performed YEEZY Day without his thumbs up. The brand has also been forced to deal with the commercial ramifications of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These hurdles caused major production slowdowns, which led, in part, to a massive drop in sales figures. The company is currently ranked among the worst performing entities in the 50-member Euro Stoxx 50 index, with its revenues in Asia plummeting.
On top of all this, incumbent CEO Kasper Rørsted recently announced that he will be leaving the brand at the top of 2023.
It’s time for adidas to hit the reset button. Financial – and spiritual – improvement is needed for the Three Bands. Often the success of a company is reflected in its leadership. And in that case, bringing in a CEO who has experience and a deep understanding of product marketing, merchandising, and navigating the ever-changing digital realm will likely be a priority. However, there are a few other avenues the brand can explore.
Let YEEZY be YEEZY
Ye is likely to fire the company again, but the empire he built with adidas has stifled the sneaker world for more than half a decade. He also admitted in past interviews that he wouldn’t be able to deploy products at this scale without the support of a large company. And whether the dynamic duo sets out to introduce a new silhouette or perform the 100th restocking of the 350 V2 “Zebra”, sneakerheads everywhere will always have an appetite for their footwear designs. For example, the YEEZY Slides and FOAM RNNRS have become the official airport shoes of 2022, and the excitement around these models isn’t expected to die down for the foreseeable future.
Classic and Contemporary
Timeless silhouettes like the Superstars, Sambas and Gazelles will always have loyal fans rushing to buy them. We’re currently seeing the Samba’s rise to prominence, as its classic white and black colorways have become street style staples, and its collaborative offerings with Wales Bonner have been acclaimed.
Lately, however, more and more conversations around the brand have erupted thanks to increased production of forward-thinking lifestyle innovations like the NMD S1, Adilette 22, adiFOM Q and an upcoming mule. . Ditching the vintage aesthetic and modernizing sneakers for consumers accustomed to seeing affordable YEEZY models is paying off, so don’t be surprised if you see an increase in the production of sneakers with funky technology and style influenced by YEEZY.
Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!
You can’t forget Jerry Lorenzo. Attendees at INNERSECT 2022 in Shanghai, China were treated to a small taste of its Fear of God x adidas partnership through its pop-up installation, but other than that, the collection remained quiet. Lorenzo understands his audience perfectly and he has an innate ability to find the right balance between luxury and streetwear. He creates without compromise and has a knack for engineered pieces that are acceptable on the street, on the hardwood and in the club.
Fear of God x adidas could be the disruptive force and change of momentum the athletic giant needs right now. It’s a chance to get back on the streetwear-crazed kids’ radar — especially the crowd that already has an affinity for its mainline and ESSENTIALS capsules — releasing basketball merchandise that can rival Nike LeBron shoes. , KD, Kyrie, Kobe and Jordan. and above all breathe new life into the brand.
Given that adidas has worked with Balenciaga and Gucci in the past, the idea of branching out into other brands under the Kering umbrella is something they can consider. These collections grab headlines, but until now they’ve been nothing more than marketing tactics: the average Joe can’t afford a $5,500 Balenciaga x adidas hoodie. $ or a $1,100 Triple S collab. However, these alliances bridge the gap between two audiences and allow each brand to dive into markets they wouldn’t normally dive into. This ultimately results in increased brand awareness.
For example, most consumers wouldn’t shell out $900 for a Gucci x adidas Gazelle, but they might see a celebrity like Harry Styles rock them – and choose a pair online just to feel like they’re part of the trend. This trickle down effect is a huge win for the brand and a proof of concept for their collaborations.
Doubling down on initiatives with non-Ye family members could also be in the cards. collaborators like Beyoncé, Bad Bunny, Pharrell, Palace and Wales Bonner are each doing serious numbers and reaching different audiences with their own respective launches. By comparison, Nike’s SNKRS release calendar is usually filled with collaborations from brands like sacai, Off-White™, and Union LA, which are designed for die-hard streetwear aficionados and sneakerheads. Where adidas has the upper hand is that its collaborative projects are segmented in nature. Each partner has their own target audience, so everyone from fashion connoisseur to hipster to hardcore musician feels like they can buy into the brand in their own way. The collections are not for everyone, and that benefits the brand.
adidas has all the tools to get back on track, but it’s up to the brand to use them as effectively as possible. Continuing to align with the right collaboration partners, harnessing the energy it has thus received from its modern design innovations, and focusing on the needs of its consumers are key to the brand’s success, and they are positioned for an interesting end to the year and a 2023.