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Sporting supremacy

By: Jeff James

Listed Under: Top Story

Published: Friday, February 15, 2013

In the October issue we considered what effect London 2012 may have had on leading sports brands such as adidas and Nike. adidas was an official partner of the Olympic Games and Team GB’s kit manufacturer.

During the Games, Team GB apparel was extremely popular, partly influenced by the success enjoyed by many of our athletes, but has this translated into any lasting legacy for adidas in its battle for sporting supremacy with Nike?

adidas group CEO Herbert Hainer revealed that the first half of 2012 was hugely successful for the brand - before the Games had even started adidas had sold over £100 million worth of Olympic merchandise.

Looking at the sports footwear and apparel market, we would expect the Olympic Games to deliver a significant increase in spending during the third quarter of 2012, compared to the third quarter of 2011, particularly in apparel.

The NPD Consumer Tracking Panel can show in detail what is driving the growth or decline of a brand, so is a perfect tool for tracking performance.

We can also analyse data for the total market, which showed that overall sales for Q3 2012 grew by six per cent, driven by a seven per cent increase in apparel compared with 2011.

Among the brands, adidas grew strongly throughout the period in both footwear and apparel.

Last year we looked in detail at the running category. This time we will look at the leisurewear sector, where adidas and Nike focus much of their attention.

The category overall is worth £400 million plus per quarter in the UK across both footwear and apparel, so clearly any gains or losses will have significant bottom line implications.

adidas was able to secure significant levels of growth in this category during Q3 due to its relationship with Team GB.

In both leisure apparel and footwear, adidas performed well and has drawn closer to Nike in terms of market share.

At the overall market level, Nike is still number one, but with strong growth from adidas in some key categories the critical question will be whether the German brand can maintain its 2012 sales levels into 2013.

Or will there be a significant slowdown in the public’s appetite for the brand?

The NPD Group monitors the sales of sports footwear and apparel in many countries around the world. For more information call The NPD Group sports team on 01932 355580.

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