How Is Adidas Different From Its Competitors | Adidas Marketing Strategy

How Is Adidas Different From Its Competitors | Adidas Marketing Strategy
Adidas Marketing Strategy

Adidas, the second-largest sportswear manufacturer in the world, is a German Multinational corporation founded by Adoft Dassler. Adidas is mainly a sportswear manufacturer with the categories of clothing, shoes, and other accessories.

Looking at the beginning of Adidas was started in a house owned by Adolf's mother in 1924. Later, Adolf's elder brother, Rudolf, also joined him, and they named it "GebrĂĽder Dassler Schuhfabrik," which simply means Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory.

A few years later, because of some major conflict between the brothers, the company split, and Adolf created Adidas, while his brother created the biggest rival of Adidas- Puma. Sounds interesting, right?

Adidas is widely known as the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, but on a global basis, it is beaten by Nike. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Adidas has its chairman, Thomas Rabe, and its current CEO, Bjørn Gulden. The brand manufactures the product category of footwear, sportswear, Apparel, equipment, and toiletries.

We all have heard a lot of things about Adidas, but the marketing strategies of the brand are known by very few. Adidas is brilliant when it comes to marketing, and no doubt, the company has established one of the strongest positions in the global market. Moving forward, let's get started with Adidas' marketing strategies.

Marketing strategy of Adidas

Key takeaways from Adidas Marketing Strategy
STP (Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning) of Adidas
Major Marketing Campaigns of Adidas
Covid-19 Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy of Adidas

Adidas's marketing strategy is what makes it the best of all. Adidas is known to have the strongest establishment in the global sportswear manufacturing market, other than its American rival, Nike.

We have briefly discussed all the aspects of Adidas' marketing strategy, which are mentioned below. Adidas has built up great competition for the companies in the market, leaving them with the only choice to stand out of the race. Adidas' target markets are athletes and the 20 to 30 age group while also fostering connections with the 13 to 18 age range, acknowledging them as the future generation of prominent athletes. This dual approach ensures a comprehensive engagement with current and upcoming sports enthusiasts. Adidas USP is its comfortable and lightweight sportswear, as well as its innovative technology and design.

4Ps of Marketing of Adidas

Product: Adidas, renowned for its athletic footwear, is the second-largest sports shoe brand globally. Notable shoe models include the Adidas Superstar, acclaimed for its basketball performance and casual appeal. The Adidas Stan Smith is a minimalist and functional choice for tennis players. The Adidas Samba, originally for soccer, became a stylish option. The Adidas Ultra Boost series is lauded as an ideal running shoe for exceptional comfort and energy return. Beyond footwear, Adidas offers a comprehensive range of sportswear accessories and has even ventured into perfumes and sports equipment.

Price: Adidas employs competitive pricing for regular products, considering rivals like Nike and skimming pricing for cutting-edge items. Targeting high-end consumers, Adidas justifies premium prices with superior quality, reinforcing a perception of exclusivity. However, this pricing strategy makes Adidas products less accessible to the general public, leading to the prevalence of cheap imitations in some markets. While this elitist image enhances the brand's appeal to its target clientele, it also turns Adidas into a status symbol rather than just a preference for quality.

Place: Adidas implements a comprehensive place strategy with 198 stores in the U.S., excluding New Mexico, and over 1990 concept stores globally. California leads with 34 outlets. The brand leverages online platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, and its official website, offering personalized merchandise options for global accessibility.

Promotion: Adidas achieved its household name through strategic and extensive marketing efforts. The brand invests heavily in traditional billboards, TV, magazines, and social media advertising. Notably, Adidas collaborates with influential celebrities such as Kanye West, Beyonce, Lionel Messi, and Stella McCartney for endorsements, inking million-dollar contracts. Additionally, Adidas has built a notable reputation by sponsoring football teams like Germany, Mexico, Spain, and Argentina.

Before we get started with Adidas's key marketing strategies, let us brief you about its brand portfolio, which includes Reebok, Rockport, Adidas, and Taylor. The main reason for such distribution is to target different segments of the audience more efficiently.

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SEO Strategy of Adidas

Adidas follows a very straightforward and encompassing approach towards the implementation of SEO. The head of global SEO and social media manager of Adidas, Mattia Santin, said in an interview that the Adidas SEO team focuses more on flexibility, especially when it comes to analytical, alongside various white-hat SEO principles.

The team mainly focuses on data and targeting personas that help guarantee the expected results and ensure that the changes are profitable.

Social Media Strategy

Adidas Marketing Strategy - Social Media (Instagram)
Adidas Marketing Strategy - Social Media (Instagram)

When it comes to social media, Adidas and groups are pretty active, especially on Facebook and YouTube channels. On these platforms, the brand posts promotional videos of its latest products and services.

Apart from this, the brand has various active accounts on Twitter as well, such as Adidas Football, Adidas Original, and Adidas US. Through these, the brand connects with its fans and followers more efficiently. Adidas works on building strong energy in the audience towards Sports and athletes.

Email Marketing

Adidas uses the technology of ECS for the email marketing program, which started in October 2020. They segment their audience, send dynamic product recommendations, and use stunning visuals and inspiring stories to capture attention. Exclusive offers, automated emails, and mobile-optimized design keep customers engaged, while social media integration and performance measurement ensure continuous improvement.

By focusing on these key elements, Adidas has built a robust email marketing program that drives engagement, sales, and brand loyalty, solidifying its status as a sportswear giant.

Adidas Strategy of Limited Supply

Adidas Marketing Strategy - Strategy of Limited Supply
Adidas Marketing Strategy - Strategy of Limited Supply

One of Adidas' most incredible marketing strategies is a limited supply. Basically, the brand limits the availability of its most famous shoes, like Stan Smith and Superstar, in order to increase the demand among the audience. This benefits the brand with great numbers and prices.

We all know that when there is a limited supply, its price automatically goes up, and Adidas masters this economic rule. This also helps Adidas' competitive advantage in merchandise margins, which has grown significantly.

Meme Marketing

Adidas is not behind in meme marketing as well. In fact, the brand has developed its very own riff on the famous "Thug Life" meme. This has become a social-driven campaign for Adidas.

Adidas leaves nothing when it comes to charming football fans, and with its incredible campaigns and meme ideas, the brand always proves its superiority.

Adidas has been known to create one of the most viral memes of the moment for showing off the Ace PureControl football boots, which are absolutely laceless.

Sponsoring Sports Events and Athletes

Adidas Marketing Strategy - Sponsoring Sports Events and Athletes
Adidas Marketing Strategy - Sponsoring Sports Events and Athletes

Adidas has successfully partnered with renowned sports organizations and athletes globally. Aligning with prestigious entities like the NBA, MLS, FIFA, and the Olympic Games, Adidas secures long-term contracts and exclusive product lines, enhancing brand visibility and broadening its appeal. Noteworthy collaborations include being the official kit supplier for elite soccer teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. Adidas also sponsors individual athletes, including Lionel Messi, James Harden, and Naomi Osaka, leveraging these alliances to extend its reach by tapping into the vast fan bases associated with these athletes and organizations.

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Influencer Marketing

Adidas Marketing Strategy - Influencer Marketing
Adidas Marketing Strategy - Influencer Marketing

Adidas places a strong emphasis on influencer marketing, making substantial investments in collaborations with notable figures. The brand strategically partners with celebrities like Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Beyonce, creating exclusive product lines that resonate with their extensive fan base. Adidas collaborates with renowned personalities such as Kendall Jenner, David Beckham, and Karlie Kloss for impactful campaigns targeting their followers. The brand extends its reach further by collaborating with popular Instagram influencers, including @sneakerprophet_ and @yankeekicks, to showcase and generate excitement around the latest Adidas products. This robust influencer strategy is pivotal in promoting Adidas and enhancing its brand visibility.

Customer Loyalty and Engagement

Adidas places a significant focus on fostering customer engagement and loyalty by utilizing social media as a platform for connection. The brand actively participates in customer relationship-building through its loyalty program, named "Creators Club," which rewards customers for both their purchases and interaction with the brand. This program provides exclusive benefits such as early access to new products, special discounts, and personalized content. Furthermore, Adidas maintains customer engagement through social media-driven contests, encouraging customers to share content featuring Adidas products for a chance to win prizes.

Adidas' marketing strategies aim to establish meaningful connections with customers, enhance brand awareness and loyalty, and ultimately drive sales. Through strategic approaches like partnerships, influencer collaborations, innovative product design, digital marketing, and interactive customer engagement, Adidas has successfully solidified its position as a leading brand in the sportswear industry.

Strategically Targeting Cities

Adidas strategically centers its marketing efforts on six key cities—Los Angeles, London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Shanghai. By honing in on these urban hubs, Adidas gains valuable insights into diverse trends, enabling the brand to meet the specific needs of consumers in different locations effectively. For instance, in Europe, the emphasis lies on marketing football-related products, whereas in the United States, the focus extends to affiliations with baseball and basketball. Notably, North America commands the largest share, constituting 40 percent of the sporting goods industry, reinforcing Adidas' significant presence and impact in this market.

Key Takeaway from Adidas Marketing Strategy

With its incredible marketing strategies, the company results in great numbers and sales. The most distinctive strategy that Adidas opts for is user & user-user-benefits-based positioning, forming Adidas' unique selling point. Through this, it builds a strong and distinct image of its products among consumers' minds.

Adidas's unique selling point is developing lightweight and comfortable sports apparel that other competitors cannot manufacture. Based on this, Adidas customers put deep trust and value in its products and services. Hence, the brand is expanding on a wider scale.

STP (Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning) of Adidas

STP stands for Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. We have briefly described these right below:


Segmentation is basically the process of dividing the mass market of the company into various groups of similar categories. This helps in knowing the customers more effectively and to obtain a competitive advantage in the market.

Adidas uses various levels of segmentation marketing tactics that help the brand distribute the large market into small customer groups and focus separately.


Targeting is the next step of Segmentation, where the brand distinguishes the market segment that it wants to focus on and builds its strategy according to that.

Adidas mainly selects the segment based on size & growth, structural attractiveness, and objectives and resources to drive its marketing strategy, activities, and sales.


The last step in the process is Positioning, where the company designs the marketing program to reach the target market. In this case, Adidas portrays itself as a creator of sports brands.

Major Marketing Campaigns of Adidas

Impossible is Nothing - 2004

Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Impossible is Nothing
Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Impossible is Nothing

Adidas develops some very distinct and amazing campaigns for all sports lovers. The "Impossible Is Nothing" campaign, introduced by Adidas in 2004, stands out as one of the brand's most iconic and influential global marketing initiatives. This campaign sought to inspire people by featuring authentic narratives of athletes and celebrities who triumphed over challenges, attaining greatness in their domains. The core message emphasized that achieving the seemingly impossible is within reach with determination, persistence, and a positive mindset.

The slogan "Impossible Is Nothing" became inseparable from Adidas, persisting in subsequent campaigns and embodying the brand's enduring confidence in individuals' capacity to surmount challenges. Long after its initial introduction, the campaign serves as a compelling testament to the effectiveness of impactful storytelling and authentic messaging in resonating with and inspiring consumers on a profound level.

Adidas is All In - 2011

Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Adidas is All In

Adidas introduced the global "Adidas is All In" campaign in 2011, intending to underscore its dedication to sports, performance, and the ethos of wholeheartedly committing to success. While the campaign may not be active, the core concept of going all-in and its associated messaging remains deeply ingrained in Adidas' brand ethos. This enduring commitment mirrors the company's ongoing support for athletes, championing excellence and motivating individuals to exceed their boundaries, consistently urging them to give their utmost in their pursuits.

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Boost Your Run - 2013

Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Boost Your Run
Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Boost Your Run

Adidas started the "Boost Your Run" campaign to tell people about its special cushioning in running shoes called Boost. Boost makes runners feel more comfortable and gives them extra energy. Now, Boost is a big part of Adidas running shoes and is used in many other sports. The campaign was like the beginning of talking about Boost, and since then, Adidas has kept making it better and telling people more about it in new campaigns and when they release new products.

Here to Create - 2016

Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Here To Create
Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Here To Create

In 2016, Adidas started the "Here to Create" campaign all around the world. They wanted to encourage and inspire people, especially women, to be creative and express themselves through sports and art. The campaign showed that everyone, no matter who they are, can be creative and talented. Adidas set a good example by including and celebrating people from different backgrounds. This campaign was part of Adidas' ongoing work to support and lift up women in sports and creative activities.

Run For The Oceans - 2018

Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Run For The Oceans
Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Run For The Oceans

The "Run for the Oceans" campaign was a partnership between Adidas and Parley for the Oceans, a group focused on highlighting the issues of marine pollution and plastic waste in our oceans. The campaign's goal was to fight against plastic pollution and encourage sustainability. It did this by involving people worldwide in a running event and using recycled plastic materials in Adidas products.

She Breaks Barriers - 2018

Adidas Marketing Campaigns - She Breaks Barriers
Adidas Marketing Campaigns - She Breaks Barriers

In 2018, Adidas introduced the "She Breaks Barriers" campaign, concentrating on empowering and backing female athletes while challenging stereotypes in sports. The campaign sought to inspire women to conquer challenges and reach their goals in both sports and life. Through "She Breaks Barriers," Adidas aimed not only to advocate for gender equality but also to establish a supportive and inclusive atmosphere for women in the realm of sports.

Superstar - 2023

Adidas Marketing Campaigns - Superstar

Adidas Originals launched a new worldwide brand idea called "We Gave the World an Original. You Gave Us a Thousand Back" to honor the Trefoil symbol that's been part of its marketing and products for over 50 years. The campaign, making some changes to Trefoil's look, focuses on promoting three iconic shoe models—Superstar, Gazelle, and Samba. Through three short films, it tells the story of how these shoes have become culturally important over time.

Covid-19 Marketing Strategy

Adidas and Kanye West Collaboration
Adidas Marketing Strategy - Adidas and Kanye West Collaboration

At the very beginning of Covid-19, brands like Adidas and Nike reduced the hiring of people across landscapes. Adidas reduced it by around 40% by March 2020. But soon after one month, in May, Adidas started hiring again as the brand received great data and analytics numbers.

Adidas enhanced its direct-to-consumer abilities by repositioning 700 jobs around different segments of E-commerce. This basically showed how Adidas raced to drive more sales through very successful digital shopping.

Apart from this, Adidas collaborated with many prominent artists, such as Kanye West and Beyonce, to launch its newest models.

Adidas opted for a very distinct yet profitable strategy to deal with the COVID-19 situation.


Adidas' competitive strategy is employed with great efficiency to build its company into the best sports brand in the world, regardless of how competitive the environment gets around it. The brand is using various strategies and tactics such as vigorous manufacturing, digital platforms, technology, innovation, collaboration, and many others. Through these, Adidas is moving towards greater heights.


What is the brand strategy of Adidas?

Adidas focuses on three main strategy pillars: speed, urbanization, and creative innovation.

What makes Adidas unique?

Adidas' USP is that it blends cutting-edge tech and design for unique sports apparel and footwear.

What makes Adidas different from its competitors?

Adidas stands out with its focus on innovation, sustainability, and athlete-centric design.

What is Adidas' pricing strategy?

Adidas employs a high-low pricing strategy. They generally keep prices higher than their competitors, but the company uses promotional discounts to offer lower prices and attract consumers.

Who are Adidas' main customers?

Adidas targets customers of upper-middle-class/high-end customers.

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