I’ve repeated over and over that Adidas is a fragile growth company. I’ve based this on the fact that adidas only controls around 5% of the total market for footwear and although their performance this year has been extraordinary, it hinges on mercurial endorsers and the fashion sense of people who change their mind with the next marketing campaign that reaches them on an emotional level. A week ago I stated that in order for Adidas to continue to gain market share they would have to place a heavy emphasis on creativity in marketing since next year in the US market they will become less visible with the loss of the NBA.
What does the title of this post mean? It means that Adidas is taking a proactive approach to the matter. What is the approach? It is very similar to what Nike did with Kanye West. When Kanye developed the colorways for his shoes, although Yeezy left, Nike continued to produce shoes that captured the style that YZY developed. In short Nike trolled Kanye. Shoes like the Air Cruz and kicks with the Blink colorways appeared everywhere. With Nike, there was a sense that they were bastardizing and disrespecting the colorways associated with Kanye to prevent him from creating similar looks and styles with the Three Stripes.
It got to the point that if an all red shoe dropped from Nike, it was labeled a Red October since Yeezy established that name with the Air Yeezy 2 release. Nike continues to create designs like the Marxman and a variety of shoes still attempting to capture the flash and style of the YZY releases from Nike. Adidas understands that at any point Kanye could get frustrated with the approach that is being taken with his fashion, although it’s unlikely considering the size of the deal the parties signed, and he could end up ranting about how Adidas makes New Slaves.
To offset this Adidas has begun to expand on their own success, but instead of bastardizing and making a lesser product Adidas is creating shoes that are excellent complimentary kicks to the less attainable YZY line. They are doing a fantastic job of this. While the numbers won’t show up on Resellers top 10 lists, their first move to make sure people could align themselves with Yeezus came in the creation of the Tubular Strap. I could easily say that when Kanye wore the UltraBOOST, NMD or Tubular that this was the first instance, but what I’m doing here is showing how Adidas has prepared and created beautifully designed “takedown” versions of YZY styled footwear and doing so has generated as many sales for these styles as their releases of YZY which is very limited. If anyone wants the data for the sales I’ve had on these shoes just ask.
The first shoe that Adidas created which has performed very well and will continue to help with maintaining growth is the Adidas Tubular Invader Strap. The Invader Strap has easily been one of the best performing sales leaders on the ARCH Online Shop since its release. While the inspiration is not from an Adidas model, it is clearly inspired by the Yeezy Louis Vuitton Jasper. What Adidas did in mimicking the style here is give the everyday person a shoe that has been so closely aligned with the original that the resell value of the Jasper has decreased from the 5,000 dollar area, to the 2,000 dollar price. This move has been the mode of operation for Adidas now in new designs and creations. Adidas didn’t skimp on the style of the Tubular Invader Strap. The suede is premium and the rugged outsole is actually translucent on the black model and other colors and you get all of this at the price of 100 dollars retail. Although the Invader actually has a resale value around 150.00 dollars when sold out. By creating this shoe, you get an alternative.
The second shoe is a recent release, The Adidas Tubular Shadow. I don’t have the sales numbers for the Shadow, but when I saw it my first thought wasn’t, “Damn, Adidas just Effed up the YZY350,” my first thought was, “Smart, very smart.” Adidas isn’t allowing the hype from releases to die down. They are also giving customers exactly what they want. The Shadow kills two problems for the brand. Availability of the YZY line is always a problem. Cost of the YZY is also an issue. The Shadow is a “right” priced alternative that looks just as good, but gives the buyer a two for one price point. Interestingly enough though the Beige colorway is already becoming a small resale shoe and has popped up to 150 in some markets.
Adidas isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. They realize that they have the momentum and instead of waiting for the market to shift, they are delivering products that are stylish and cost effective to a market that is growing tired of resale and as resale begins to slow for shoes that are general release this opens the market up for more brands and styles to flourish. Sneakerheads, pat yourselves on the back for changing the game and thank Adidas for understanding the power of takedown models.