The sneaker industry stands on two giant pillars of the game – the German giant, Adidas and the American titan, Nike. We know we’ve got tons of other sneaker brands in the race, but let’s be real. It’s all about the checks over stripes when it comes to sneaker copping. The Nike VS Adidas fight to rule the industry is a battle as old as sneaker time! But, WTH is happening to Adidas in 2021? For some reason, it seems like the Three Stripes has recently gone MIA as Nike takes the sneaker throne. Now we’re all wondering, will we witness an Adidas return in the near future? Or is this it for the massive sneaker brand?
Looking back at a little Q1 recap, it was pretty obvious that Nike was serving major sneaker HITS to Adidas – it was a total KO moment. It all started back in 2020, with sales declining everywhere! But, some brands like the Swoosh knew how to handle the situation with Nike face masks, other personal protective equipment, and financial support. Adidas on the other hand, got into rent freeze issues, leaked internal memos, claims of racism, and not much sneakers to back them up!
The Adidas return plan, if existent, isn’t going as well as you’d expect it to be. Although financial reports did expect an increase in sales in 2021 after a strong 2020 finish, it doesn’t seem like it. It’s almost like radio silence here!
‘Own the Game’ Growth Strategy
An Adidas return in 2021 depends on factors like sneaker hype, currency-neutral sales, and general brand growth. This is why Adidas opted for a new 5-year growth strategy:‘Own the Game’. Their main focus is to increase their credibility and create a completely unique customer experience. Adidas sets this goal while simultaneously expanding their activities in sustainable fashion with over 60% of production using sustainable material.
The Adidas return stands on the foundation of the sales growth of these essential categories: football, running, training, outdoor, and lifestyle. They’re also taking a leaf out of Kanye’s marketing book by depending on a direct-to-consumer approach in marketing. This means that Adidas will reach out to the consumer directly instead of using an intermediary’s services. DTC business is something that a lot of brands have adopted with the outbreak of COVID19 and helped in keeping them afloat.
Also, for better marketing focus, Adidas decided to target Greater China, EMEA, and North America. Although, in light of recent Xinjiang boycotting, this may have backfired. But, according to CNBC, Adidas reports a 150% sales increase in China despite the boycott! So, maybe their choice of focus wasn’t off after all.
This strategy also depends on the most innovative sneakers that include a first-ever circular Ultraboost, the Futurecraft 4D, and introducing more lifestyle franchises like Forum and ZX. Let’s not forget that this year we’ve got most of our major sporting events back in business, which will also help in the Adidas return!
The Road to Adidas Return
According to Adidas’ updated full-year outlook, there’s a lot of optimism and confidence surrounding the Adidas return – even though half the year is already through! In comparison with 2020, the Adidas return already saw major developments. But the thing is, it’s only natural for sales to pick up after a global pandemic and major lockdowns.
Let’s be real for a minute. Let’s take a look at the top 10 Adidas sneakers released so far in 2021 according to price premium. Why? Because you know we’re all about the numbers and all about the sneaker resale. If it ain’t making us some cash, why even bother. Right?
- Forum Low Bad Bunny – Average Resale $721
- Yeezy Slide Pure – Average Resale $213
- Yeezy Foam Runner MXT Moon Gray – Average Resale $369
- Samba ADV Maite Steenhoudt – Average Resale $145
- Yeezy Foam Runner Sand – Average Resale $334
- Forum Hi Snipes Detroit Pistons 313 Day – Average Resale $274
- Yeezy Boost 700 Sun – Average Resale $537
- Forum Low Bad Bunny Pink – Average Resale $572
- Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Mono Ice – Average Resale $640
- Campus 80s South Park Towelie – Average Resale $353
Is the Three Stripes Hype Dead?
Just take a look at this list. Does the Adidas return depend on all the upcoming Yeezy releases? So, 5 out of the top 10 Adidas drops with the best price premium are Yeezys. This takes down some points from Adidas! The top 3 Adidas Forums included sneaker collaborations with Puerto Rican musician Bad Bunny, and SNIPES x Detroit Pistons celebrating 313 day.
This just goes to show that, aside from Yeezys, a lot of these sneakers didn’t make your top sneaker copping list this year. For pure research purposes – not bringing out the tea – let’s compare Nike’s top 10 sneakers with the highest price premiums.
- Dunk Low Supreme Stars Mean Green – Average Resale $1452
- Dunk Low Supreme Stars Hyper – Average Resale $1084
- SB Low Supreme Stars Black – Average Resale $1051
- SB Dunk Low Supreme Stars Barkroot – Average Resale $1124
- Waffle One SE The Whiteaker Group – Average Resale $938
- SB Dunk Low What The Paul – Average Resale $848
- Nike SB Dunk Low Street Hawker – Average Resale $629
- SB Dunk High Carpet Company – Average Resale $506
- Dunk Low Medium Curry – Average Resale $377
- Dunk Low VX1000 – Average Resale $552
There’s an obvious difference between the two lists. Nike’s strategy includes a lot of the wildest Dunks with high resale prices, and the ICONIC Supreme partnership. The difference in resale says a lot about Adidas’ possible comeback. So, what’s going on with Adidas and what should we expect from the German giant?
Has The Sun Set on the Adidas Return?
All the talk on the upcoming strategy for the Adidas return makes it seem very promising, but what have we actually gotten so far? We’ve already established that Adidas has considerably turned down the HEAT on sneaker drops compared to the Swoosh. Aside from Yeezy releases like the Mono Pack or the all-new 450 Dark Slate, there’s not much going on for Adidas.
AND, another thing that has come as a surprise is the offloading of Reebok after 15 years of ownership. Adidas bought Reebok back in 2006 when they were still trying to win the checks over stripes debate. And now they plan on selling it! Technically they said that they aim at “divesting Reebok”, which means the same thing. In other words, they couldn’t revive it anymore and were pulling the plug.
So, what does this mean? Selling off Reebok, not coming up with new hyped sneaker collabs, dropping meh sneaker releases? This doesn’t look well for the Adidas return in 2021. We see the optimism in their strategy, but Q2’s almost over. Like, they talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?
Has Nike finally taken down Adidas? Guess we’ll have to wait and find out.