Adidas was formed in 1948 and named for its founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler. It is currently the largest manufacturer of sportswear in Europe, while it is second worldwide after Nike. It is based in Germany and currently has more than one-hundred and seventy subsidiary companies. The company was formed after Dassler and his brother Rudolf disbanded their previous company, Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). The company was divided after a rift between the brothers, and two separate companies were formed. Adidas, named for Adi Dassler, and Ruda, named for Rudolf Dassler. Ruda was later renamed Puma, and the two companies went into competition against each other. Both companies utilized varying marketing strategies that included advertising to the masses via athletes. This marketing strategy was duplicated by the American run Nike Company, and by the 1990s, both Adidas and Puma were practically completely replaced in the U.S. market. In 2006, Adidas acquired the Reebok Company, which helped to rejuvenate its place in the U.S. market (Esterl, 2008). The company now exists second in the world behind Nike as the leading manufacturer of sportswear. The company’s main strategy is to “lead the sporting good industry with brands built upon a passion for sports and a sporting lifestyle” (Strategy, 2011). Strategies for Functional Areas
Adidas has employed a successful marketing strategy since its inception. In its earliest days, the company simply relied on word of mouth and product placement. While Adidas and Puma competed in early years, the people in their small town in Germany were the main faces of the companies. Over the next several years, though Adidas turned to spreading its advertisements across the world and began using famous faces to sell shoes. Professional athletes were employed to be spokespersons for the company, and several particular shoe designs were made specifically for the person selling them. Recently, Adidas has moved onto larger ventures. In 2010, the company announced that it would be sponsoring the FIFA World Cup along with one-third of the competing teams. Adidas is widely considered to be the world’s largest soccer brand and has been actively involved in supporting and sponsoring events and teams related to the sport since the company’s foundation. While Nike still retains the lead on basketball and running sponsorships, Adidas actively competes to make sure it holds onto the top title for soccer. The current Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Hainer, said, “Football is, of course the heart and soul of our company” (Townsend & Elfes, 2010). The FIFA World Cup sponsorship was one of the largest ventures that Adidas has ever undertaken, but it was a success in terms of advertising to a world-wide audience. In an effort to challenge Nike in the areas of sponsorship and sales, Adidas has recently unveiled a new advertising campaign featuring some of the biggest stars in the world. This campaign moves beyond the general recipe of solely featuring athletes and includes musicians and other celebrities, such as David Beckham and Katy Perry (Babej, 2011). The company has also made plans to feature new products that could drive a wedge into the basketball sportswear top level, which is currently occupied by Nike. In June, Adidas will release the lightest basketball shoe currently available in a direct rivalry with the current preferred shoe, Nike’s LeBron Air Max 8 V/2. The AdiZero Crazy light shoe is fifteen percent lighter than the LeBron Air Max and weighs only 9.8 ounces (Elfes & Steele, 2011). Operations
The current global operations plan for Adidas is broken down into several parts. The Adidas Group’s website outlines these parts as being replenishment, end-to-end profitability, adaptive supply network, end-to-end planning, and accelerated creation to shelf. The company...