Adidas 'no longer' a trendsetter, say critics

Adidas has come under fire from its investors who say the brand no longer has the nous to catch up with rivals Nike and Under Armour.

Adidas Gamedayplus
Adidas Gamedayplus

Investors slammed the brand for failing to come up with the product innovations to "attack" Nike, and also questioned Adidas' ambitious five-year brand strategy, called 'Creating The New'.

Speaking at the Adidas annual general meeting, SdK investor association spokesman Gerhard Jaeger said: "Where are your product innovations that allow you to attack Nike? Adidas is only reacting to what’s happening on the market. It is no longer capable of setting trends."

Jaeger also slammed Adidas' strategy plan, which the company outlined earlier this year. The idea is to focus on three core themes - speed, cities and open source. This refers to getting products faster to market, putting more investment in key global cities and becoming more open to partnerships.

The plan is intended to carry Adidas to 2020 but Jaeger pointed out that CEO Herbert Hainer's contract runs out in 2017.

He said: "Which management team will complete that strategy, and when will we know who that is?"

Adidas' board is currently seeking a successor to Hainer, who said the new strategy was intended to create sustainable growth.

The news follows Adidas' first quarter results, which reported a 17% year-on-year jump in sales to €4.1bn (£3 billion).


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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

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