Adidas – Canadian Focus
As a child growing up, I was exposed to a variety of sports brands which included Adidas, Reebok, Nike, and many others. Certain brands were more prominent and preferred, depending on the sport. Playing hockey and soccer, my go-to brands were Reebok and Adidas respectively as they were excellent for their respective sports. Every article of clothing I purchased for soccer was branded with the Three Stripes.
The athletic and fashion brand has announced that it will be launching a Canadian store expansion focusing on new experience formatted locations, renovating, and relocating current stores, as well as developing a product selection for hockey as a sport. In order to achieve this, Adidas has partnered with the NHL to become the official supplier of apparel, headwear, and uniforms for the NHL for the next seven years.
Adidas is moving from its current store layouts towards stores that incorporate more hands-on experiences for consumers. This will allow consumers to go shopping at an Adidas location and not just browse but experience the products and the brand during their visit. By creating an experiential environment, Adidas will effectively create more value for their customers through their store environment, drawing more customers in. The store environment is one of the biggest costs to retailers in their effort to offer value and create convenience for customers. Adidas is on the right track by focusing on the customer experience. Adidas uses music, lighting and colour to enhance the store layout and atmospherics to improve the shopper’s experience.
With Adidas moving to offer NHL products and increasing their hockey sections in their stores, they are attracting a very large portion of the Canadian market who are hockey fans as well as hockey players. By offering official NHL merchandise through partnership, they also grow the validity of their hockey training apparel. They will begin to become the hockey brand that people think of when they think of hockey equipment. This will grow them to more than just the soccer brand that I knew them as.
Adidas is able to take advantage of the popularity of the sport in Canada as it grows, and show sports fans that they are a part of it while they make it happen. This is part of Adidas’ goal to be the top sports brand globally as it expands.
One of the biggest challenges the brand will face is the process of consumers recognizing them as more than just a fashion and soccer brand, but also as a hockey brand. By expanding the assortment of hockey apparel and footwear they have taken a step in the right direction, but more is needed, and becoming the NHL’s official outfitter may have been just that.
I feel that this shift towards a more experiential and a more Canadian store will allow Adidas to excel and increase its growth in the Canadian market, bringing it closer to its goal of being the best sports brand in the world.