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Nike versus Adidas

Nike and Adidas are two dominant and well-known brands that in the sphere of sports and clothing portray the power so desired by everyone; the power these brands represent attracts customers. Nike Company started its operations in 1972, while Adidas officially started in 1949. Adolf Dassler launched Adidas, while Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight started Nike in Oregon, Portland. Thus, Nike has its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon while Adidas has its headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany (Adidas Group History, paragraph 1).

The two companies are the leading global producers of sportswear, apparels and equipment. Adidas offers products in the market in three main brands; these brands majorly cover the parts like footwear, apparel, and hardware making the three market segments under which the company operates. The sports segment for the company develops modern goods that focus on running, football, basketball, tennis and training, all of which geared towards enhancing the performance of sportsmen. On the other hand, Nike has become the leading producer and US based footwear distributor in the market of global athletic footwear, equipment and apparel.

The two sports juggernauts operate in key market segments. Nike has a concentration in basketball, cross-training, women, running, and children’s shoes. It actively operates in the various categories like action sports, athletic training and in soccer. It also has segments in tennis, and digital sports. However, Adidas specializes in soccer, athletics, and tennis (Duke University, Sociology).

The brand ambassadors and the key sponsors for the two sports juggernauts are different. Both Nike and Adidas are the leading sponsors in the sports industry. Nike has several brand ambassadors. Nike’s sponsors are Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Mia Hamm, and Brazilian soccer. On the other hand, Adidas has few brand ambassadors that include New York Yankees, Kobe Bryant, and the University of Tennessee. For example, in 2006, the company made an 11-year deal with NBA which highly improved its marketing opportunities (Adidas Group History).

Adidas’ strategy anchors on the premise that the company becomes the leading producer of sporting goods built upon passion and a sporting lifestyle (Adidas Group, paragraph 1). The inspiration for this is Adidas’ heritage and customer understanding. Thus, the company focuses on creating shareholder value through significant cash flow generation drives. On the other hand, Nike lays emphasis creating a legacy of innovative thinking and develops products that help athletes of different abilities to achieve their potential and provide value for the shareholders (Nike, paragraph 2).

In addition, the companies have a wide range of brand portfolios. Adidas has the Adidas brand, Reebok brand, and the TaylorMade-Adidas Golf brand (Adidas Group, paragraph 2). On the other hand, Nike’s affiliate brands include Cole Haan, Converse, Hurley, Jordan Brand, Nike Golf, and Umbro (Nike, Affiliate Brands). This shows the company’s wide diversity comparing to Adidas.

Another notable comparison of the two sports juggernauts emanates from their market strategies. Nike has a focus on the American market. This marketing strategy has made it hard for Adidas to penetrate the US market. On the other hand, Adidas’s market strategy lays emphasis on the European market because it represents the company’s birthplace. Thus, it has a strong market presence in Europe unlike the American counterpart Nike. This means that Nike has to lay more emphasis on retail business. In addition, Nike has shifted a focus to soccer in order to gain international recognition (Duke University, Sociology). On the other hand, Adidas dominates the world soccer market because the market is what people call the world’s sport (Duke University, Sociology).

In addition, Nike’s marketing strategy has undergone evolution and intends to excite dissatisfied customers. It also sponsors athletes as part of Nike’s marketing strategy. Similarly, Adidas supports and sponsors professional and athletic teams in order to enhance its global competition. This marketing strategy for the last 70 years has made Adidas the leader in the market (Docstoc 5).

In addition, the two companies also focus on maintaining healthy relationships with their consumers. Nike intends to enhance innovation and inspiration for the athletes(Nike, Consumer Affairs, paragraph 1). This lays the foundation on the consumer affairs mission that focuses on representing the highest service standards that go beyond the sporting goods industry. These relationships also intend to build a loyal consumer relationship across the globe. On the other hand, Adidas customer mission focuses on building brands with passion for its customers in order to improve their loyalty (Adidas, paragraph 3).

Nike’s strategies also focus on changing their shoe designs frequently in order to enhance competitiveness. On the contrary, Adidas has enhanced its technology by inventing some of the breathing shoes, especially the ClimaCool. This footwear innovation features a 360º ventilation system. The shoe has breathable materials that allow consumers to actually feel the breeze. The innovation precedes another called the a³ (which is pronounced as "a-cubed") that provides a cushioning system (Adidas, History, paragraph 18).

One of the notable differences between Nike and the Adidas products emanate from the prices. Most of the Nike products are expensive making it difficult to penetrate the European market, where Adidas has a well-established market niche. Nike outsources the production of its commodities, but designs and develops the market for its goods from the United States. Adidas products are less expensive due to outsourcing in Asia in order reduce production costs and stay competitive (Duke University, Sociology).

In conclusion, both Nike and Adidas are famous in the sports brand and most people tend to compare the two sports juggernauts. Thus, both companies have almost similar marketing strategies that focus on how they can outdo each other in the sport goods industry.

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