Herzogenaurach, February 23, 2007 – adidas has appointed Bernd Wahler as Chief Marketing Officer Sport Performance and Hermann Deininger as Chief Marketing Officer Sport Heritage/Sport Style. Both executives will report directly to Erich Stamminger, President and CEO of the adidas brand.
The three-divisional set-up, established in 2000, has been very successful for adidas, allowing the brand to create products and concepts tailored to specific sports or lifestyle audiences while building equity for the adidas brand. This divisional structure was a huge success for adidas’ business development and brand positioning. Now, the divisional structure will be evolving. At the core, there will be a two-divisional set-up of Sport Performance and Sport Style. Within Sport Performance, clear focus lies on Running, Football, Basketball and other global performance categories. Sport Style, comprised of the previous Sport Heritage and Sport Style divisions, will be specifically targeting the lifestyle consumer.
Bernd Wahler, who formerly worked at adidas, will rejoin the company to lead the Sport Performance division, which includes the adidas Innovation Team (a.I.T.), Product Design, Product Marketing and Retail functions, as well as co-ordination of the respective Brand Marketing functions. Bernd Wahler joined adidas in 1987 and held various positions in Product Marketing, before moving to adidas America in 1993 as Marketing Director, later becoming Senior Vice President of Global Marketing. In 1998, he left adidas and became CEO of Swiss luxury brand Bally, and afterwards held other positions within the sporting goods industry. In 2004, he founded the sports and marketing agency Sportsgeist, working exclusively for adidas and Porsche Design, including leading the adidas World Cup initiatives.
Hermann Deininger, a 22-year veteran of adidas, will lead the Sport Heritage/Sport Style division, which includes the respective Product Design, Product Marketing and Retail Concept teams of the Sport Heritage and Sport Style divisions, as well as co-ordination of the respective Brand Marketing and Entertainment Promotion functions. Since 1985, Hermann Deininger has held various senior management positions in Global Marketing, Region Europe and adidas Germany. Most recently, he was Global Creative and Brand Director of the adidas brand.
“Bernd Wahler and Hermann Deininger are experienced executives with a clear understanding of our brand, as well as the challenge of engaging increasingly sophisticated consumers in an intensely competitive market,” said Erich Stamminger, President and CEO brand adidas. “To further strengthen our focus on the consumer, we have created an organization around the clear segmentation strategies of Sport Performance and Sport Heritage/Sport Style. Hermann Deininger and Bernd Wahler will have full ownership of their divisional teams, from setting the direction to developing and implementing the integrated product and marketing concepts. I look forward to supporting them in their efforts.”
In addition to these new appointments, Michael Riehl, who leads Global Sports Relations, will assume several cross-functional brand responsibilities, including Licensee Management, Marketing Co-operations, Brand PR and the Adi Dassler Fund. Michael Riehl has held senior management positions as Managing Director adidas Germany, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Head of Global Sports Relations. He started his career at adidas in 1982.
About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is one of the global leaders in the sporting goods industry, offering a broad range of products around the three core segments adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group has more than 25,000 employees worldwide and expects 2006 sales of around € 10 billion.