After a couple of years of abstention, Adidas Outdoor will exhibit again at Friedrichshafen’s OutDoor show in 2009. This move is part of the Three Stripes’ new strategy to embrace core specialty retailers after focusing more on their general sports customers in retail. According to Rolf Reinschmidt, who acts as senior vice president global outdoor, Adidas is setting up a sales force dedicated to specialty outdoor retail.
To improve its outdoor business, the company has developed a seven-year plan that aims to strengthen the apparel business. As of now, 80 percent of the turnover comes from footwear and 20 percent from functional outerwear. The company would not disclose precise figures in this segment. This breakdown does not necessarily reflect the reality of the global outdoor market, which consists, according to Adidas, of 46 percent apparel, 39 percent hardgoods and 15 percent footwear. Starting in 2010, Adidas also intends to expand that category with equipment, including backpacks and accessories.
The brand’s focus in the near future is on the German-speaking countries as well as on Russia. Adidas expects the Russian outdoor market to be the largest one in Europe some day. The Three Stripes can rely on its own retail network there, which contributes around 70 percent to the entire Russian Adidas business.
Adidas Outdoor will offer its products in five categories: mountains sports, hiking & trekking, Nordic walking, cross-country, and water sports such as paddling. The idea behind the new collection is to supply both advanced mountaineerers and “ordinary” outdoor enthusiasts with the appropriate equipment to be used whether at sea level or at the basecamp at 6,000 meters.
To increase the credibility of the brand in the mountaineering segment, Adidas now supports the so-called Huber Boys. The brothers Alexander and Thomas Huber are two of the best extreme climbers in the world who became famous thanks to the movie “At the Limit,” a spectacular film that is not recommended for viewers who have a problem with high altitudes. Adidas will sponsor the Huber Boys’ next expedition, which will take them to Antarctica. The sponsorship promotes the Terrex collection at the upper range of Adidas’ offer of both shoes and apparel that feature state-of-the-art materials such as Gore Paclite.