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How Adidas Aims to Get Its Cool Back - WSJ

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How Adidas Aims to Get Its Cool Back
The German sports brand wants to end its long U.S. slump
Updated March 22, 2015 9:21 p.m. ET
Adidas AG notched a big win when it signed a deal in January to sponsor University of
Miami sports. The school had been rival Nike Inc.’s turf for decades, a perfect place to show that Adidas’s new U.S. chief was breaking its long
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for the first time, Mr. King says. Last year, he announced plans to hire three Nike shoe designers for a new Brooklyn, N.Y., studio—Adidas’s first American design outpost outside U.S. headquarters in Portland, Ore.
Mr. King in December signed a sponsorship with Arizona State University, a Nike school.
He persuaded headquarters to let him sponsor up to 500 National Football League and
Major League Baseball players over the next few years, up from the few dozen Adidas sponsors today. “I know we’re a soccer brand globally,” he says, “but in the U.S. we have to be about U.S. sport.”
Some retailers are skeptical Adidas has changed its stripes. Christine Noh, who runs
Nohble, a New York area chain of street-wear stores, says she has cut back Adidas allotments. Its representatives aren’t as attentive as rivals to her input on what shoes will resonate with consumers, she says, and Adidas tends to flood the market when it has a hit, depressing prices.
“If your upper management is in
Germany, and they don’t know Flatbush from
Harlem from Virginia,” she says, “it’s hard to have that information percolate back up to the top and have that action executed.”


How Adidas Aims to Get Its Cool Back - WSJ

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The Adidas spokeswoman says: “We listen to retailers and consumers every day and make our business decisions based on that


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