Internal Rivalry: Low threat
The sports footwear and apparel industry is pretty young: Adidas was only started in 1949 in Germany. The Dassler family who gave its name to Adidas spun off Puma as well. Nike was born in 1972 and Reebok emerged as a solid competitor in the early 80s under the lead of Paul Fireman. Yet, this industry is very concentrated and keeps consolidating: Nike bought Converse in 2003; Adidas bought Reebok in August 2005. Nike owns 36% of the US market while the new Adidas-Reebok owns 22%, which equates to a combination of 60% for the two top players. The US Market, with $14.75 billion last year, accounts for half the sales of athletic footwear in the world and drives most of the product trends. Other notable companies are New Balance, Puma, and K-Swiss. Japanese Mizuno and Asics have never really succeeded entering the US market.
Entry: Moderate Threat
Market leaders Nike and Adidas established a series of barriers to prevent new entrants from threatening them. First barrier would be the outsize marketing budgets spent in advertising and the endorsements of athletes: Nike spent $90 million on a contract for LeBron James alone in 2003, and they paid the prestigious Manchester United club an unprecedented $450 million over 14 years to run its merchandising and uniform operation. Nike had 50 sponsored Athletes win a gold medal in Athens 2004. Adidas spent $80 million for the Official Sportswear partner title in...