ebay adidas How Kanye West helped Adidas get past Under Armour
What must have hurt Adidas more than the fact that it was dislodged from the No 2 sports brand in the US by Under Armour was its CEO Kevin Plank’s crack calling adidas his “dumbest competitor”. This was in early 2015. Adidas, however, was plotting a comeback.
At the Billboard Music Awards in May 2015, the stage was on fire (literally) as a singing Kanye West poked his foot through the flames. And the foot was covered in a white adidas Ultra Boost. West then leaped through the blaze with his next song, dressed all in black, except for his pair of white Ultra Boost sneakers, which stood out like beacons.
The company said that every single store that had Ultra Boosts cleared out within an hour. They may or may not have, but Adidas and West had created a defining moment. That fiery debut for Ultra Boost propelled adidas’ sales and by autumn 2016, it had overtaken Under Armour. North American revenue for the company zoomed by 30 per cent from 2015 to 2016 while sales of Ultra Boosts raced away by 98 per cent in that period.
A reported 25 per cent of Americans buy sneakers for athletic use. To rope in more runners, Adidas treats shoes like fast fashion and has tied up with cultural partners to give its sneakers a boost, coming up with new styles ever quicker. And the slump, which had begun in 2013, eased off as the brand began climbing back into the reckoning after a dismal two years.
adidas’ strategy involved moving design, advertising and communications departments to the US from Germany, which handled only materials and manufacturing. Creative silos were created for various sports such as football, basketball and running in order to tailor products to their customers’ needs. It seems to have worked out nicely for the sports brand.