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Why I Now Believe in adidas’ Growth but Not Puma

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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the First 10 Soccer Fields as part of NYC Soccer Initiative

Source: adidas NEWS STREAM : Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the First 10 Soccer Fields as part of NYC Soccer Initiative

I could have easily made this a post about adidas only. I didn’t need to create a comparison to Puma, but isn’t it a natural thing to do: juxtapose adidas’ growth against Puma’s recent success? Of course it is! adi vs Rudolf, little brother vs big brother, the comparison just pops up and kind of makes for a great discussion.

Sidenote before I climb into this, adidas has to work on their petty. There is no way in the hell I’m letting these kids in this photo wear Nike for a photo op based on some dope work being done by adidas. I would have picked another set of kids. Is that petty? You bet. Carry on…

Puma has increased its guidance based on performance in the retail environment. Puma is selling shoes, but I’ve said it once and I will say it again… Puma hasn’t figured out the men’s market and right now it seems that everything is fine, but their growth is a bit deceptive. Yes they’ve grown in the last year. Yes Rihanna is beautiful, talented, smart, doesn’t sing very well, but her business savvy is dope and she looks good… wait a minute this isn’t going anywhere. I’m basically worshipping Rihanna. Honestly that is the problem. Puma’s success is about Rihanna. They are making some fantastic footwear, but it simply isn’t being marketed to men at all and while the growth is good missing half of the market is not. Fashion is fickle and all it takes is a shift in trends and Puma’s sales will slide.

Unlike Puma, my thoughts on adidas are a bit different. I once wrote this:

Adidas Is Fragile and this Stock Surge Can’t Sustain

In this article I didn’t explain why adidas couldn’t sustain. I actually said the exact opposite. I explained why adidas is doing well and will continue to do so. My goal was to state that the stock price increase was a bubble and the moment a trend shift happened adidas was going to be in trouble because they had failed to look beyond fashion and BOOST. I eventually changed my thoughts as I witnessed the patience and integration of adidas into the lives of the people they wanted as customers.

That is the difference: adidas has made themselves a part of every facet of the people wearing the product. I simply haven’t seen that from Puma.

What has solidified my support of adidas, besides the kids wearing Nike in the picture above, is this initiative to build soccer pitches in New York in conjunction with the New York Football Club. A few weeks ago the US Soccer team failed to make the World Cup. Soccer is performing poorly in the U.S. as a sport and isn’t growing. It’s becoming a rich kid’s sport and this has hurt the game in the U.S.

Why the Pac Pro Football League is More Important Than Ever

adidas realizes that the U.S. is going to begin to make soccer more important and they also realize that Nike has a grasp on football and basketball in the U.S. Under Armour has the MLB. adidas has decided to focus on soccer because internationally adidas is soccer. The long term investment in giving neighborhood kids locations to practice is an investment in the future. It’s similar to adidas spending money on installing local artist’s work into their retail outlets. As soccer begins to become important to the U.S., soccer will be synonymous with adidas and in the long term that’s great for the brand.

I just don’t see the same integration into lifestyle and society out of Puma. Is fashion working for Puma, yes; but that’s all that seems to be working. Use the source link to read more about the investment made by adidas into New York’s soccer grassroots.