Adidas creates new brand activation role as it refocuses European marketing division

Adidas has appointed Roy Gardner in the newly created role of VP of brand activation management for Western Europe as the sports giant looks to build a ‘new European marketing organisation.’

Gardner, who will report to Nick Craggs, SVP of brand for Adidas Europe, is an experienced marketer having held senior roles at the likes of Reebok, Clarks and Unilever in a career stretching back to the 1990s.

He is returning to Adidas having spent two years as a senior brand communications manager at the sports brand in the late 1990s.

A spokesman told Marketing Week: “Roy will be responsible for strategic marketing investment planning across Europe; all countries, channels and functions. This will include execution of key brand and category concepts.

“Roy brings a wealth of both B2B and B2C marketing experience and has previously worked with the Adidas Group earlier in his career, so knows the brand and business very well.”

Last March, Adidas announced it would focus marketing spend on six global cities (Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo) and ramp up co-creation efforts in a bid to increase “brand desirability” and quicken sales and profit growth up to 2020.

Global sales boss Roland Auschel explained at the time: “Global brands are created in global cities. If we win running in New York and Los Angeles, we will win running in the US. Therefore, we are committed to win market and mind share in key cities around the globe, that’s our marketing strategy.”

And the spokesman said the appointment of Gardner will help Adidas achieve this vision.

He added: “This appointment will help us deliver against the three major strategic pillars outlined in our chief executive Herbert Hainer’s 2020 strategic business plan of ‘creating the new’ – speed, cities and open source. Part of this plan is building a new European marketing organisation.”

Earlier this week, Hainer of Adidas admitted that its decade long, £75m-a-year kit sponsorship deal of Manchester United had been somewhat disappointing due to the club’s negative way of playing football under current manager Louis Van Gaal.

He told Suddeutsche Zeitung: “We sell more jerseys than expected, the foreign share is 60%. We are satisfied, even if the actual way of playing at United is not exactly what we want to see.”

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