Adidas takes on Nike with global blitz

Adidas challenges Nike this week with the launch of a global branding campaign and the introduction of “Forever Sport” as its brand motto.

This is the first campaign for Adidas from Wieden & Kennedy breakaway agency 180.

Alex Melvin and Chris Mendola formed 180 last October after W&K, Nike’s agency, fired them for allegedly working on an Adidas pitch. The pair later won ‘substantial damages’ from W&K after a court hearing found them “not at fault”.

The new branding campaign will establish Adidas’ commitment and passion to every sport played at all levels of skill around the world.

The theme of the ads is “Take What You Want” with the “Forever Sport” brand line appearing at the end of the ad underneath the Adidas logo. Take What You Want will be adapted throughout the campaign into lines such as “Take First Place”, “Take It Very Seriously” or “Take It Kind of Seriously.”

There is a 60-second TV and cinema ad and three 30-second ads – two featuring a selection of sports from tennis to skateboarding and one focusing on soccer.

Adidas features its stable of sports stars in the ads including long distance running champion Haile Gebrselassie, tennis player Anna Kournikova, footballers Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham, and basketball hero Kobe Bryant.

The ads were shot by US music and skateboard video and film director Mike Mills with soundtracks by DJs Fatboy Slim and Moby.

Adidas-Salomon says its annual results will be down on last year but will still be the second best it has ever achieved with sales totalling DM9.9bn (3.6bn) in 1998.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here