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Case Study Example

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Case - ADIDAS

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Introduction 

Since it was established in Germany in 1949, by Adolf Dassler, Adidas has been synonymous with the sporting industry. Today, Adidas is a global public company and is one of the largest sports brands in the world. It is a household brand name with its three stripes logo recognised in markets across the world. 

The company’s product portfolio is vast, ranging from state-of-the-art sports footwear and clothing to accessories such as bags, watches, eyewear and other sports-related goods and equipment. Employing over 46,000 people worldwide, the Adidas Group consists of around 170 subsidiaries including Reebok, TaylorMade, Adidas Golf, Rockport and CCM-Hockey. The Group's headquarters are in Herzogenaurach, Germany. In the second quarter of 2013 the Group’s revenue was €3.383 billion. 

Adidas and the Olympic Games 

The Adidas brand is built on a passion for sports excellence and innovative design to help athletes perform to the best of their ability. It is therefore no surprise that Adidas has supported many iconic athletes to achieve great things at the Olympic Games. In the UK, Adidas has partnered and supplied Team GB since 1984. The company’s heritage with the Olympic Games dates back to the Games in Amsterdam in 1928 when Adidas’ running shoes were debuted. Footwear and clothing by Adidas has been seen on athletes at every Olympic Games since. In fact, all British medal-winning athletes at the last 8 Olympic Games wore Adidas products. 

There are countless historic sporting achievements that have taken place in Adidas products. These include: 

·         Jesse Owens’ 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936

 

·         Cassius Marcellus Clay (Muhammad Ali) taking gold in the boxing light-heavyweight division at Rome 1960

 

·         Dick Fosbury’s revolutionary new back-first high jump technique at Mexico 1968, known as the ‘Fosbury Flop’

·         Gymnast Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10 at Montreal 1976.

 

Adidas used innovative marketing strategies in its sponsorship deal with the London 2012 Olympic Games to engage with young consumers. 

The marketing mix 

As a market-orientated organisation Adidas continuously identifies and reviews consumers’ needs to ensure its products meet these needs. It aims to exceed customer expectations by adapting its product portfolio to meet the changing needs of consumers. It is this focus on its customers, teamed with product and marketing innovation, that plays a key role in Adidas’ success. The marketing mix assesses how to balance elements of the mix to meet customers’ needs. The elements include: 

·         the right product

·         sold at the right price

·         in the right place

·         using the most suitable form of promotion. 

No two businesses are identical and every organisation must decide its own balance of the 4Ps to suit consumers’ needs. There are many internal and external factors that will influence an organisation’s marketing mix. Key factors include the size of the business, the markets it operates in and available resources. 

Sports marketing 

For a global organisation like Adidas its marketing mix is tailored to specific markets and international marketing takes cultural and social differences into account when planning marketing activity. Sports’ marketing is a key focus for Adidas’ marketing mix. The growing popularity of sports as entertainment has led to its huge increase. The founder of Adidas was one of the first people to see the potential of this form of marketing when he sponsored the FIFA World Cup in 1978. Sponsorship involves a business paying to be associated with another organisation, event or TV programme. 

Like many new developments, the sports marketing function has changed dramatically since its introduction. Just consider Sony’s first ever Walkman in 1979 to today’s iPod. The same dramatic difference is evident in the sports marketing arena with sponsorship deals now worth tens of millions of pounds. Rather than simply trying to gain positive associations with particular sports, companies use sports marketing to drive the brand and increase sales. 

Marketing strategies 

Within the marketing function of any organisation there will be key goals, or objectives, to be achieved. For example, increasing market share by 3% or entering a new market overseas. To achieve these marketing objectives requires a plan that details the actions needed. These plans are marketing strategies. A key challenge for Adidas’ marketing strategies is finding innovative ways to inspire and engage its 14-19 year old target audience. 

Sponsorship

 

For Adidas, London is a key focus for the sportswear market, for both performance sportswear and sports fashion. This market sets more trends than anywhere else in the country. London 2012 gave Adidas a platform to target this audience but with a global reach. The sponsorship deal obtained by Adidas was the broadest set of sportswear rights in Olympic history. It became the official sportswear partner of the London Games and the exclusive licensee of all branded Adidas + London 2012) and event branded (London 2012 only) clothing. From these rights Adidas set four key marketing objectives: 

·         To ensure a clear association as Sportswear Partner of London 2012, Team GB and Paralympics GB.

 

·         To engage and excite the 14-19 year old audience in order to drive brand preference in the UK.

 

·         To deliver a Licensed Product Return on Investment (ROI) (branded and event branded licensee rights).

 

·         To become the most talked about sports brand in 2012.

 



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