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adidas-Salomon AG Announces Revolutionary New Global Business Strategy

New Three Divisional Strategy for adidas Aimed at Expanding Customer Base And Driving Top-Line Growth

October 11, 2000

New York, 10/11/2000 - adidas-Salomon AG unveiled its brand positioning shift and revolutionary new three divisional structure for its core brand, adidas, today at an event for analysts and media. The company’s new global business strategy is aimed at expanding its customer base and driving top-line growth. The event, held at Milk Studios in the Chelsea neighborhood, included presentations by top adidas-Salomon executives from Germany and the United States, as well as sneak previews from the new divisional product lines for Fall/Winter 2001. 

“The Growth & Efficiency Program we instituted at the beginning of this year has been a strong success,” stated Herbert Hainer, deputy chairman of the executive board and chief operating officer of adidas-Salomon AG. “It was time to build upon that success by taking the next strategic step. I am confident that the revolutionary new business strategy for adidas we unveiled today will position us for a very exciting and growth-oriented future. We are now optimally positioned to begin our challenge for global sports brand leadership.” 

The success of the Growth & Efficiency Program, the elimination of double functions, and the successful integration of the U.S. organization into adidas’ global marketing structure will result in significant savings in the coming years. The costs for the new strategy already are included in these programs, so that no additional costs will be incurred. 

“adidas always has been and always will be passionate about excellence in sports and in the sporting goods business. Passion is the engine that will drive our new brand positioning and innovative business strategy,” commented Erich Stamminger, member of the executive board of adidas-Salomon AG, responsible for global marketing. “Beginning today, our brand position will be ‘Forever Sport – From Competition to Lifestyle.’ We want to mean more to more people. We want to expand our customer base and gain deeper market penetration in our existing markets.” 

adidas’ new three divisional approach, which differs fundamentally from the traditional “Footwear and Apparel” structure used by most other sporting goods companies, will enable adidas to address the needs of its consumers in a very targeted and focussed way. Under adidas’ new structure, each of the three divisions will produce its own footwear and apparel lines. The new divisions are: 

FOREVER SPORT DIVISION: “Engineered To Perform”

The Forever Sport Division will feature products that are developed for the sports performance market, but will have design appeal, encouraging consumers to wear the products both on and off the court or playing field. With the footwear and apparel products in this division, adidas will target athletes who want the highest level of functionality for their specific sport. A good example of this strategy is the new Kobe Bryant shoe, “The Kobe,” which is performance driven, yet design oriented. The official global launch of the shoe will take place on November 3rd. All products in the Forever Sport Division will use the adidas Performance logo. 

The first tangible results in this area will be evident with the Fall/Winter range for 2001. The full impact of changes in this area will be evident in the marketplace by Spring/Summer 2002. The Forever Sport Division is where adidas will compete with companies such as Nike, Reebok, Puma, and Fila. 

ORIGINAL DIVISION: “Once Innovative, Now Classic, Always Authentic”

The Original Division will target consumers who want to buy products exclusively for leisure usage, but still are inspired by sports. This is the division that will carry the majority of the leisure-oriented products that fit under adidas’ new brand positioning of “From Competition to Lifestyle.” The Original Division will have three different product segmentations: Re-introduced, Re-interpreted, and Re-designed products. Re-introduced products will be limited volume re-makes of classic products. Re-interpreted products will be based on the original authentic sport version, with updated colors, materials and details. Re-designed products will be inspired by the old adidas originals in style and craftsmanship, but put in today’s fashion context. All products will use the classic adidas Trefoil logo. 

Presentations to key retailers will start on November 3rd, the 100th birthday of the late Adi Dassler, founder of adidas. The initial launch of the Original Division, with select customers and markets, will take place in the Fall/Winter season 2001. The full rollout of this division will occur in Spring/Summer 2002. The Original Division is where adidas will compete beyond its traditional competitors with companies such as Polo, Abercrombie & Fitch, and the GAP. 

EQUIPMENT DIVISION: “Simply Unexpected”

The EQUIPMENT Division will focus on creating multi-functional sports products, with cutting-edge designs, for the prestigious consumer. It will serve as the house of innovation for cross-performance apparel and footwear. Products in this category will serve as the bridge between the Forever Sport and Original lines – between competition and lifestyle. The contemporary, meaningful, aggressive, and exciting design elements of the EQUIPMENT products will create a brand that is a status symbol on and off the court or playing field. All products will use the new adidas EQUIPMENT logo.

The initial product launch in this division is scheduled for Fall/Winter 2002. Distribution will be selective in chosen markets like Germany, France, and the U.S.

“Our new brand positioning and organizational structure will revolutionize the way adidas does business,“ stated Hainer. “We are excited to work with this new structure. It will provide us with the dynamic framework that we need to aggressively expand our business and will enable us to deliver significant growth rates in the coming years.“