Adidas readies a “marketing offensive” as World Cup nears

Adidas plans to launch a marketing “offensive” ahead of this year’s World Cup as the sportswear company looks to halt a recent slide in sales.

Kaka

The company, which owns the adidas, Rockport and Reebok brands, says it will “go on a marketing offensive” with the aim of “converting the excitement” of the World Cup into sales.

Adidas makes kits for hosts South Africa as well as Germany, Argentina, France and Spain. Brand ambassadors include Brazil’s Kaka and England’s Steven Gerrard.

It also plans to launch a global campaign for its sports fashion brand adidas Sport Style in order to “accelerate our momentum with the lifestyle consumer”.

The move comes as the group announces sales dropped by 4% to €10.4bn (£9.4bn) in the year to 31 December. Net income decreased 62% to € 245m (£222m) in 2009 from € 642m (£582m) in 2008, hit by rising costs and the strength of the euro against other currencies.

Marketing expenses as a percentage of sales increased in the final quarter of 2009, the company says, as it began its World Cup activity.

Despite the loss, chief executive Herbert Hainer claims the company enters 2010 with “renewed optimism”.

“I am convinced that all our brands can capitalise on a rebounding consumer environment in the current year.

“When I look around the marketplace today, I do not see any other company with a product pipeline as compelling, original or technologically advanced as ours,” he says.

Adidas split executive responsibility for global brands and sales in a bid to “strengthen brand management” last August with Erich Stamminger taking responsible for its global brands division and Hainer assuming direct responsibility for global sales.

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