Adidas to focus marketing spend on six cities and ramp up co-creation

Adidas says it will focus marketing spend on six global cities and ramp up co-creation efforts in a bid to increase “brand desirability” and quicken sales and profit growth over the next five years.

The sportswear giant said at an investor day in Germany yesterday that it will “over proportionally” invest in marketing its apparel and equipment in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo. It adds the bulk of investment in “talent and attention” will also rest in those six cities.

Global sales boss Roland Auschel said consumer trends are increasingly being centered in major cities and Adidas should follow: “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.”

Elsewhere, the company outlined a commitment to “open source” – essentially co-creation – with customers, athletes and “partners”,  building on designs, products and services created in partnership with Stella McCartney, Kanye West, BASF and Google in recent years. It also operates the “mi adidas” apparel customisation service – an option it promises to “dramatically” increase.

“In the future, we will not only talk to and talk with our consumers. We will be the first sports company that invites athletes, consumers and partners to be part of its brands. We will open up so that they can co-create the future together with us,” added global brands head Eric Liedtke.

It also set out an ambitious target to expand its eCommerce business to above €2bn by 2020, up from €422m in 2014. No details were offered but the company did say earlier this month it is trialling initiatives such as click and collect in some territories with a wider roll out likely.

The company says it is targeting sales growth at a “high-single-digit rate on average” each year until 2020 – sales increased 6% in 2014 – and an increase in net profit of 15% on average each year to 2020 – above the 7 to 10% target set out earlier this month.

Adidas’ marketers are gearing up for a big 2015 with the company recently committing to increasing spend and “aggressive storytelling” following the appointment of new global creative agency 72andSunny.