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10 March 2022
adidas finds its global-local balance
SportswearLocalisation of international work
Reporting increases across all its strategic growth markets and categories in 2021, sports brand adidas noted the importance of a proportion of products and marketing being locally relevant: in the case of China, it puts the figure at 30%.
Why it matters
CEO Kasper Rorsted said during an earnings call that while it is important to fully leverage the strengths of being a global company – and much of its marketing is global (“when a Kanye [West] or when a Jerry [Lorenzo] does something in LA, it does resonate in Shanghai”) – that may not always be appropriate in all markets.
“We need to make certain that, particularly in markets where you might have cultural differences, that we have the relevant [approach], not only in the product but in the storytelling,” he said. But that will always retain a strong element of the global approach.
“If we only try to do Chinese products in China, then we become 100% competitive to the local Chinese, and we don’t have the global scale, the global benefit that we have as our company,” he said.
adidas added more than €1 billion to net income from continued operations while driving significant marketing investments into the brand.
The company invested €2.5 billion in marketing in 2021, with the biggest part of that being spent with brand partners.
In 2022, it plans to invest almost close to €3 billion into brand campaigns, product launches, and new partners (both in sport and lifestyle).
Overhead expenses amounted to €6.3 billion in 2021, the biggest portion being spent on direct-to-consumer (D2C) to elevate the consumer experience across all touch points.
“The important part is we win with the consumer in product and storytelling” – Kasper Rorsted – CEO, adidas.