Confirming a report in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Adidas says it is planning to enter the snowsports market with a line of winter sports apparel for cross-country and alpine skiing, ski touring and snowboarding for the autumn/winter 2020/21 season. It will be launched under its growing sub-brand for outdoor products, Adidas Terrex, which is already a partner of the German Ski Federation. Some of the garments for cross-country skiing will be presented at Adidas’ stand at the Ispo Munich show at the end of this month.
(SGI+) Last summer, the Big a made a big statement in the ski sector by announcing a multi-year sponsorship contract with Mikaela Shiffrin, the 24-year-old American ski champion who has already won two Olympic gold medals, five World Championships and 60 World Cup races. Adidas noted that she also trains for other types of sports, such as trail running, hiking, yoga and gymnastics. Adidas had two German ski champions under contract before, Magdalena Neuner and Laura Dahlmeier. Its new contract with Shiffrin is intended to address a much bigger audience in the U.S. and abroad.
In commenting on the diversification of Adidas Terrex into winter sports, an Adidas spokesman points out that the sub-brand already pursues a multi-brand approach for summer sports with products for hiking, trail running, climbing and cycling.
Run by Tim Janaway, Adidas Outdoor is an independent business unit within the Adidas Group, and its sales have been growing quickly following a series of recent initiatives in the areas of product development and marketing. It uses the Adidas logo as a trust mark and its products are available on the adidas.com website.
As we reported last year (Compass Vol. 12 N° 13+14 of July 19, 2019), we estimate that Adidas’ total sales in the outdoor sector are probably higher than €400 million a year, making it the fifth-largest outdoor brand, after The North Face, Columbia, Patagonia and Salomon. All of those brands have winter sports apparel collections.
The decision to offer a skiwear line may have something to do with the Adidas Group’s strong focus on China, which will host the Winter Olympic Games in 2022. It is planning to open dedicated Adidas Terrex flagship stores in Beijing and Shanghai, catering mainly to young customers. Similar stores are planned for Moscow and Seoul.
For the Adidas brand, skiwear is not really a new category. Adidas Originals had a line of snowboard garments many years ago. Luxury skiwear has been offered under the Adidas by Stella McCartney label. Adidas has historically covered more sports categories than Nike. Up to a certain point, it developed products for more or less all the Olympic sports.
In 1997, Adidas made a serious move into snowsports under the management of the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, with its acquisition of Salomon for the equivalent of about €1.2 billion. Its true objective, however, was to enter the golf segment through its TaylorMade subsidiary. The diversification didn’t work, out and Adidas sold Salomon without TaylorMade to Amer Sports in 2005 under the management of Herbert Hainer for about €500 million. It’s interesting to note that a Chinese brand of sports shoes similar to Adidas, Anta, is now the main shareholder of Ame