Top 100 Brand in The World – Rank no. 55 – Adidas – Germany
|Traded as||FWB: ADS, OTCQX: ADDYY|
|Founded||1924 as Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik
(registered in 1949)
|Key people||Igor Landau (Chairman)
Herbert Hainer (CEO)
|Products||Footwear, sportswear, sports equipment, toiletries|
|Revenue||€14.488 billion (2012)|
|Operating income||€1.011 billion (2012)|
|Profit||€1185 million (2012)|
|Total assets||€11.65 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||€5.304 billion (2012)|
adidas AG (German pronunciation: [ˈadiˌdas]) is a German multinational corporation that designs and manufactures sports clothing and accessories based in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. Frequently mispronounced as (German pronunciation: [ ˈadIˌdɐ̯s]). It is theholding company for the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade-Adidas golf company (including Ashworth), Rockport, and 9.1% of FC Bayern Munich. Besides sports footwear, Adidas also produces other products such as bags, shirts, watches, eyewear, and other sports- and clothing-related goods. Adidas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Germany and Europe and the second biggest sportswear manufacturer in the world.
Adidas was founded in 1948 by Adolf Dassler, following the split of Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik between him and his older brotherRudolf. Rudolf later established Puma, which was the early rival of Adidas. Registered in 1949, Adidas is currently based inHerzogenaurach, Germany. Puma is also based in Herzogenaurach.
The company’s clothing and shoe designs typically feature three parallel bars, and the same motif is incorporated into Adidas’s current official logo. The company revenue for 2012 was listed at €14.48 billion.
Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik
Christoph Von Wilhelm Dassler was a worker in a shoe factory, while his wife Pauline ran a small laundry in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, 20 km (12.4 mi) from the city ofNuremberg. After leaving school, their son, Rudolf “Rudi” Dassler, joined his father at the shoe factory. When he returned from fighting in World War I, Rudolf received a management position at a porcelain factory, and later in a leather wholesale business in Nuremberg.
Adolf “Adi” Dassler started to produce his own sports shoes in his mother’s wash kitchen in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria after his return from World War I. In July 1924, his brother Rudolf returned to Herzogenaurach to join his younger brother’s business, which became Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) and prospered. The pair started the venture in their mother’s laundry,:5 but, at the time, electricity supplies in the town were unreliable, and the brothers sometimes had to use pedal power from a stationary bicycle to run their equipment.
By the 1936 Summer Olympics, Adi Dassler drove from Bavaria on one of the world’s first motorways to the Olympic village with a suitcase full of spikes and persuaded U.S.sprinter Jesse Owens to use them, the first sponsorship for an African American. Following Owens’s haul of four gold medals, his success cemented the good reputation of Dassler shoes among the world’s most famous sportsmen. Letters from around the world landed on the brothers’ desks, and the trainers of other national teams were all interested in their shoes. Business boomed and the Dasslers were selling 200,000 pairs of shoes each year before World War II.
World War II and company split
Both brothers joined the Nazi Party, but Rudolf was slightly closer to the party than Adolf. During the war, a growing rift between the pair reached a breaking point after an Allied bomb attack in 1943, when Adi and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf and his family were already in: “The dirty bastards are back again”, Adi said, referring to the Allied war planes, but Rudolf was convinced his brother meant him and his family. After Rudolf was later picked up by American soldiers and accused of being a member of theWaffen SS, he was convinced that his brother had turned him in.
The Dassler factory, used for production of anti-tank weapons during the war, was nearly destroyed by US forces in April 1945, but was spared when Adi Dassler’s wife, Käthe, convinced the GIs that the company and its employees were only interested in manufacturing sports shoes. American occupying forces subsequently became major buyers of the Dassler brothers’ shoes.
The brothers split up in 1947, with Rudi forming a new firm that he called Ruda – from Rudolf Dassler, later rebranded Puma, and Adi forming a company formally registered asAdidas AG from Adi Dassler on 18 August 1949. Although it is popularly claimed that the name is an acronym for All Day I Dream About Soccer, that phrase is a backronym; the name is actually a portmanteau formed from “Adi” (a nickname for Adolf) and “Das” (from “Dassler”).
Early years and rivalry with Puma
Puma and Adidas entered a fierce and bitter rivalry after the split. The town of Herzogenaurach was divided on the issue, leading to the nickname “the town of bent necks”—people looked down to see which shoes strangers wore. Even the town’s two football clubs were divided: ASV Herzogenaurach club supported Adidas, while 1 FC Herzogenaurachendorsed Rudolf’s footwear. When handymen were called to Rudolf’s home, they would deliberately wear Adidas shoes. Rudolf would tell them to go to the basement and pick out a pair of free Pumas. The two brothers never reconciled, and although both are buried in the same cemetery, they are spaced apart as far as possible.
In 1948, the first football match after World War II, several members of the West German national football team wore Puma boots, including the scorer of West Germany’s first post-war goal, Herbert Burdenski. Four years later, at the 1952 Summer Olympics, 1500 metres runner Josy Barthel of Luxembourg won Puma’s first Olympic gold in Helsinki, Finland.
At the 1960 Summer Olympics Puma paid German sprinter Armin Hary to wear Pumas in the 100 metre sprint final. Hary had worn Adidas before and asked Adolf for payment, but Adidas rejected this request. The German won gold in Pumas, but then laced up Adidas for the medals ceremony, to the shock of the two Dassler brothers. Hary hoped to cash in from both, but Adi was so enraged he banned the Olympic champion.
The Tapie affair
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After a period of trouble following the death of Adolf Dassler’s son Horst Dassler in 1987, the company was bought in 1989 by French industrialist Bernard Tapie, for ₣1.6 billion (now €243.9 million), which Tapie borrowed. Tapie was at the time a famous specialist of rescuing bankrupt companies, an expertise on which he built his fortune.
Tapie decided to move production offshore to Asia. He also hired Madonna for promotion. He sent, from Christchurch, New Zealand, a shoe sales representative to Germany and met Adolf Dassler’s descendants (Amelia Randall Dassler and Bella Beck Dassler) and was sent back with a few items to promote the company there.
In 1992, unable to pay the loan interest, Tapie mandated the Crédit Lyonnais bank to sell Adidas, and the bank subsequently converted the outstanding debt owed into equity of the enterprise, which was unusual as per the prevalent French banking practice. The state-owned bank had tried to get Tapie out of dire financial straits as a personal favour to Tapie, it is reported, because Tapie was Minister of Urban Affairs (ministre de la Ville) in the French government at the time.
In February 1993, Crédit Lyonnais sold Adidas to Robert Louis-Dreyfus, a friend of Bernard Tapie for a much higher amount of money than what Tapie owed, 4.485 billion (€683.514 million) francs rather than 2.85 billion (€434.479 million). They also purposely bankrupted Tapie’s company that owned Adidas, because only the company had the right to sue them.
Tapie filed for personal bankruptcy in 1994. He was the object of several lawsuits, notably related to match fixing at the football club. During 1997, he served 6 months of an 18-month prison sentence in La Santé prison in Paris.
In 1997, Adidas AG acquired the Salomon Group who specialized in ski wear, and its official corporate name was changed to Adidas-Salomon AG because with this acquisition Adidas also acquired the Taylormade Golf company and Maxfli, which allowed them to compete with Nike Golf.
In 1998, Adidas sued the NCAA over their rules limiting the size and number of commercial logos on team uniforms and clothing. Adidas withdrew the suit, and the two groups established guidelines as to what three-stripe designs would be considered uses of the Adidas trademark.
In 2003, Adidas filed a lawsuit in a British court challenging Fitness World Trading’s use of a two-stripe motif similar to Adidas’s three stripes. The court ruled that despite the simplicity of the mark, Fitness World ‘s use was infringing because the public could establish a link between that use and Adidas’s mark.
In September 2004, top English fashion designer Stella McCartney launched a joint-venture line with Adidas, establishing a long-term partnership with the corporation. This line is a sports performance collection for women called “Adidas by Stella McCartney”, and it has been critically acclaimed.
Also in 2005, on 3 May, Adidas told the public that they sold their partner company Salomon Group for €485m to Amer Sports of Finland. In August 2005, Adidas declared its intention to buy British rival Reebok for $3.8 billion (US$). This takeover was completed with partnership in January 2006 and meant that the company would have business sales closer to those of Nike in North America. The acquisition of Reebok would also allow Adidas to compete with Nike worldwide as the number two athletic shoemaker in the world.
Adidas has global corporate headquarters in Germany, and many other business locations around the world such as Portland OR, Hong Kong, Toronto, Taiwan, England, Japan, Australia, and Spain. Mainly sold in the U.S., Adidas makes lots of assets from these countries and is expanding to more overseas countries.
In 2005, Adidas introduced the Adidas 1, the first ever production shoe to use a microprocessor. Dubbed by the company “The World’s First Intelligent Shoe”, it features a microprocessor capable of performing 5 million calculations per second that automatically adjusts the shoe’s level of cushioning to suit its environment. The shoe requires a small, user-replaceable battery that lasts for approximately 100 hours of running. On 25 November 2005, Adidas released a new version of the Adidas 1 with an increased range of cushioning, allowing the shoe to become softer or firmer, and a new motor with 153 percent more torque.
On 11 April 2006, Adidas announced an 11-year deal to become the official NBA clothing provider. They will make NBA, NBDL, and WNBA jerseys and products as well as team-coloured versions of the “Superstar” basketball shoe. This deal (worth over $400 million) takes the place of the previous 10-year Reebok deal that was put in place in 2001.
On 3 November, 2011, Adidas announced that it would acquire outdoor action sport performance brand Five Ten through a share purchase agreement. The total purchase price was $25 million USD in cash at closing.
By the end of 2012, Adidas is reporting the highest revenues ever and Chief Executive Herbert Hainer expresses optimism for the year ahead.
Adidas currently manufactures several running shoes, including the adiStar Salvation 3, the adiStar Ride 3 (the replacement for the adiStar Cushion 6), the Supernova Sequence 4 (the replacement for the Supernova Control 10), and the Supernova Glide 3, among others.[dated info]In addition, their performance clothing is widely used by runners. Adidas also uses kangaroo leather to make their more expensive shoes.
One of the main focuses of Adidas is football kit and associated equipment. Adidas remain a major company in the supply of team kits for international football teams.
Adidas also makes referee kits that are used in international competition and by many countries and leagues in the world. The company has been an innovator in the area of footwear for the sport, with notable examples including the 1979 release of the Copa Mundial moulded boot used for matches on firm dry pitches. It holds the accolade of the best selling boot of all time. The soft-ground equivalent was named World Cup and it too remains on the market, timeless and iconic. Some of the most famous football teams are currently sponsored by Adidas.
Adidas became renowned for advancing the Predator boot design developed by ex-Liverpool and Australian international player Craig Johnston. This design featured a ribbed rubber structure for the upper leather of the shoe, used to accent the movement of the ball when struck; highly skilled players claimed they were able to curve the flight of the ball more easily when wearing this new contoured design. The Predator also features the Craig Johnston-invented Traxion sole.
FIFA, the world governing body of football, commissioned specially designed footballs for use in its own World Cup tournaments to favour more attacking play. The balls supplied for the 2006 World Cup, the Teamgeist, were particular noteworthy for their ability to travel further than previous types when struck, leading to longer range goal strikes that were intended to increase the number of goals scored. Goalkeepers were believed to be less comfortable with the design, claiming it would move significantly and unpredictably in flight.
Adidas also introduced another new ball for the 2010 World Cup. The Jabulani ball was designed and developed by Loughborough Universityin conjunction with Chelsea FC. It received much criticism from players, managers and pundits for being too hard to control. The lighter and more aerodynamic ball led to many shots and passes being over hit. The Jabulani was widely blamed for the low numbers of long range goals or even remotely accurate attempts in the opening stage of the tournament.
In addition, Adidas has numerous major kit deals with clubs worldwide. Amongst the most high profile are Real Madrid, Feyenoord Rotterdam, Chelsea, Milan, Ajax, Benfica, Lyon, Marseille, Fenerbahçe, Basel, River Plate, Beşiktaş, Swansea City, West Ham United,Nottingham Forest, Aberdeen, Southampton, Palmeiras, and Flamengo. In addition to other national teams, such as the Spain, Argentina,Mexico and Japan national football teams.
Current footballers that Adidas officially endorses includes (but is not limited to): Raúl González, Iker Casillas, Shinji Kagawa, Nani, Mats Hummels, Daniele De Rossi, Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben, Juan Mata, Angel Reyna, Thomas Müller, Kaká, Xabi Alonso, David Villa, André Schürrle, Steven Gerrard, Javi Martínez, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Alessandro Del Piero, Fernando Torres, Luis Suárez, Xavi, Atsuto Uchida, Hiroshi Kiyotake, Tomoaki Makino, Karim Benzema, and Lionel Messi and also the coach José Mourinho.
In April 2013, Adidas and Opta Sports announced the introduction of a new soccer player type – the Engine. The Engine’ is the archetypical box-to-box footballer who covers every blade of grass, seeks goal scoring chances, tracks down his opponent and displays relentless energy from the first minute to the final whistle.
Adidas has sponsored tennis players and recently introduced a new line of tennis racquets. While the Feather is made for the “regular player”, and the Response for the “club player”, Adidas targets the “tournament player” with the 12.2 oz Barricade tour model. Adidas sponsors the following professional players with mainly clothing and footwear: Ana Ivanovic, Andy Murray, Maria Kirilenko, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Daniela Hantuchová, Alicia Molik, Fernando Verdasco, Marcos Baghdatis, Gilles Simon,Fernando González, Flavia Pennetta, Laura Robson, Kristina Mladenovic, Francesca Schiavone, Melanie Oudin, Angelique Kerber andSorana Cîrstea. Adidas tennis clothing contains the ClimaCool technology found in other athletic jerseys and shoes.
Players sponsored by Adidas can take advantage of the Adidas Player Improvement Program, where the company provides coaches, fitness trainers and sports psychologists to players in order to further their careers. The program includes legendary coaches such as Darren Cahilland Sven Groeneveld.
Adidas Golf is part of Adidas, a German-based sports clothing manufacturer and part of the Adidas Group, which consists of Reeboksportswear company, TaylorMade-Adidas golf company, and Rockport. The Adidas Group is one of the global leaders in the sporting goods industry offering a wide range of products around the three core segments of Adidas, Reebok, and TaylorMade-Adidas Golf. Adidas Golf sells and manufactures Adidas-brand golf clothing, footwear, and accessories.
In 1997, Adidas AG acquired the Salomon Group who specialized in alpine ski wear, and its official corporate name was changed to Adidas-Salomon AG because with this acquisition Adidas also acquired the TaylorMade Golf company and Maxfli, which allowed them to compete with Nike Golf. Salomon sold its controlling interest in TaylorMade and its other sports equipment companies to global giant Adidas AG.
In 1998, Adidas Golf USA moved its business operations from Tualatin, Oregon, to the Carlsbad, California headquarters of TaylorMade Golf, acquired by Adidas-Salomon. Adidas Golf USA had thirty employees to relocate. Carlsbad is also the headquarters of one of its primary competitors, Callaway Golf Company.
In 1999, TaylorMade and AdidasGolf USA, were merged into a new company—called TaylorMade-Adidas Golf—with world headquarters in Carlsbad. Mark King was named president of the company he had begun his career with in 1981 as a sales representative after a short stint as vice president of sales and marketing at Callaway Golf Ball Co. in 1998.
In November 2008, Ashworth (clothing) became a wholly owned subsidiary of TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, complementary to the synthetic performance fabrics of Adidas Golf.
Adidas Golf sells clothing, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and youth. Men’s equipment includes footwear, shirts, shorts, pants, outerwear, base layer and eyewear. Women’s equipment includes footwear, shirts, shorts, skirts, pants, outerwear, base layers, and eyewear. Youth equipment includes both boys and girls footwear, clothing, and eyewear.
In the 1990s, Adidas signed world’s iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar of India and made shoes for him. Tendulkar still wears Adidas shoes while playing matches. Since 2008, Adidas has sponsored the cricket bat used by Sachin Tendulkar. It created a new bat, ‘Adidas MasterBlaster Elite’, personalized for him.
In 2008, Adidas made their move into English cricket market by sponsoring English batting star Kevin Pietersen after the cancellation of his lifetime deal with Woodworm, when they ran into financial difficulties. The following year they signed up fellow England player Ian Bell,Pakistan opening batsman Salman Butt and Indian Player Ravindra Jadeja. Having made cricket footwear for many years, the company finally entered the field of bat manufacture in 2008. Now the range includes Pellara, Incurza, Libro and M-Blaster.
Adidas manufactures uniforms for the England cricket team. Adidas signed with Cricket South Africa in 2011 and the uniforms worn bySouth African Cricket Team during and after the Cricket World Cup 2011 will be manufactured by the German giant. The Australia cricket team were previously sponsored by Adidas till late 2011. Now they also sponsor the South Korea national cricket team.
Adidas has been a longtime basketball shoe manufacturer and is one of the leading basketball brands in the world. They are most famous for their late 1960s iconic Superstar and Pro Model shoes, affectionately known as “shelltoes” for their stylized hard rubber toe box. These were made very popular in the 1980s hip hop streetwear scene alongside Adidas’s stripe-sided polyester suits.
Adidas is also the current outfitter of all 30 franchises in the National Basketball Association (replacing the Reebok brand after the merger) and sponsors numerous players past and present like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tracy McGrady, as well as Dwight Howard, Chauncey Billups, Derrick Rose, Quincy Pondexter, Brandon Knight, Eric Gordon, Michael Beasley, Josh Smith, Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday, Tim Duncan, and John Wall. Adidas endorsed Kobe Bryant with the Adidas Equipment KB8 as his first signature shoe until July 2002. The company also endorsed Kevin Garnett until he opted out of his contract in 2010. Gilbert Arenas was an Adidas endorser until 2010.
In 2007, Adidas announced the future production of lacrosse equipment, and will sponsor the Adidas National Lacrosse Classic in July 2008 for the top 600 high school underclassmen lacrosse players in the United States.
Adidas makes rugby balls and other rugby gear. They are the current kit and ball supplier to the New Zealand All Blacks, Irish Munster Rugby, the British and Irish Lions, the French National Team Les Bleus, the Italian national rugby team and the South African Stormers andWestern Province rugby union teams among others. Adidas is also the New Zealand Rugby Union clothing sponsor and supplies clothing to all Super Rugby franchises, a selection of domestic teams and national referees. Adidas are also the official match ball supplier to theHeineken Cup. They are the jersey manufacturers of the Gold Coast Titans Rugby League club in the Australasian National Rugby League.
Since 2000, Adidas has provided men’s and women’s gymnastics wear for Team USA, through USA Gymnastics. In 2006, Adidas gymnastics leotards for women and Adidas men’s competition shirts, gymnastics pants and gymnastics shorts have been available in the USA, with seasonal leotards offered for Spring, Summer, Fall and Holidays. Since Spring 2013, Adidas gymnastics products have been available worldwide through Elegant Sports. USA Olympic team members McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Jake Dalton and Danell Leyvaare all sponsored by Adidas gymnastics.
Adidas SB (Skateboarding) are shoes made specifically for skateboarding. Many of the shoes Adidas previously made were redesigned for skateboarding.
Adidas Skateboarding also has a skateboarding team. The team consists of: Mark Gonzales, Dennis Busenitz, Tim O’Connor, Silas Baxter-Neal, Pete Eldridge, Benny Fairfax, Lucas Puig, Nester Judkins, Lem Villemin, Vince Del Valle, and Jake Brown.
Adidas has provided Hockey equipment’s and sponsors numerous players of Germany, England, Netherlands, Australia, Spain and Belgium. They also sponsor Reading Hockey Club, Beeston Hockey Club and East Grinstead Hockey Club.
Adidas also designs and makes slide-style sandals, watches, eyewear, bags, baseball caps, and socks. As well, Adidas has a branded range of male and female deodorants, perfumes, aftershave and lotions.
Adilette was the first ever pair of sandals made by Adidas, originally developed in 1963. Adidas claims that a group of athletes approached Adi Dassler requesting a shoe be made for the locker room.
To this day, the resulting sandals are a best-seller. Since the original Adilette sandals were created nearly fifty years ago, more varieties have been created in different colours (black, red, green, grey, orange, brown, yellow, pink, golden, silver). Most recently, Adidas has introduced a colour scheme that goes along with its Predator and adizero line; the scheme is dubbed warning (orange) and purple. Usually, seven stripes appears on the strap of the classic models. The most common adilette livery is in navy blue or black, mixed with white colours. Also the Woodilette and Trefoil models follow the same design but without stripes on the strap.
The model provides a contoured orthopedic rubber sole with synthetic upper, and was designed as an après-sport slide, but the adilette were quickly used everywhere out of sport’s world. Opting for a wide, over the foot strap rather than the design of flip flops, the adilette sandals provide a fresh style and a different level of comfort for the wearer. The strap is also glued to the sides of the sandal, which directs tension to less stressful areas of the sandal, which gives the sandals more durability.
The Santiossage is a uni-sex slide-style sandal. The sandal has the trademarked three stripes on a velcro strap toward the front of the shoe. Santiossage comes in black, navy, or red. On the side of the shoe, toward the heel on either side, the manufacturer’s name appears, as well as on a round emblem in the actual heel of the foot-bed. Notably, there are tiny clear massage nubs throughout the foot-bed for the purpose of massaging after-sport footaches, although the sandals are worn casually among non-athletes. Seen through these clear nubs are Adidas’ three stripes.
Adissage is also a uni-sex slide-style sandal. Available in black, navy, light blue, black with pink, and other assorted colors, the sandal has the trademarked three stripes on a velcro strap toward the front of the shoe. On the side of the shoe, toward the heel on either side, the manufacturer’s name appears, as well as on a round emblem in the actual heel of the footbed. Like the Santiossage, there are tiny black massage nubs throughout the foot-bed for the purpose of massaging foot aches after sport, although popular as a casual sandal amongst non-athletes as well.
Other sandal brands
- Commoda (by Stella McCartney)
- Harvella Thong (women’s)
- Raggmo Thong (men’s)
Adidas, like other sports brands, is believed to engender high consumer brand loyalty. Brand loyalty towards Adidas, Nike, Inc., Puma AGand several other sportswear brands was examined in a recent study. The study found consumers did not exhibit unduly high loyalty towards such brands.
During the mid to late 1990s, Adidas divided the brand into three main groups with each a separate focus: Adidas Performance was designed to maintain their devotion to the athlete; Adidas Originals was designed to focus on fashion and life-style; and Style Essentials, with the main group within this one being Y-3.
“Adidas is all in” is the current global marketing strategy for Adidas. The slogan aims to tie all brands and labels together, presenting a unified image to consumers interested in sports, fashion, street, music and pop culture.
“Impossible is Nothing” was the previous mainstream marketing slogan for Adidas. This campaign was developed by 180/TBWA based in Amsterdam but also with significant work being done by TBWA/Chiat/Day in San Francisco – particularly for its basketball campaign “Believe in Five”.TBWA\Chiat\Day commissioned Zane Peach to produce images for 2007 international ad campaign.
The brand is featured in several games, including Commodore Amiga: Daley Thompson’s Olympic Challenge, Sony PlayStation: Adidas power soccer and Commodore 64, ZX spectrum, Amstrad CPC: Adidas Championship Football.
Current executive board
- CEO Adidas-group: Herbert Hainer
- Finance Adidas-group: Robin J. Stalker
- CEO Adidas brand: Erich Stamminger
- Global Operations Adidas-group: Glenn S. Bennett
- CEO Adidas brand India: Garvit kumar
- CEO (1993–2002): Robert Louis-Dreyfus.
2011 All Blacks replica rugby jersey pricing controversy
Unhappy with the local price of the Adidas replica All Blacks jersey, New Zealand-based All Blacks fans have asked for price cuts and begun purchasing the jersey from overseas vendors after it was revealed that the local price of $NZ220 was more than twice the price offered on some websites.
Adidas has responded by enforcing cross-border agreements to stop overseas retailers from selling to New Zealand residents. It has been labelled a public relations disaster by leading New Zealand PR firms and Consumer advocate groups. The largest New Zealand sportswear retailer Rebel Sport has stated it is angry and is considering selling the All Blacks Jerseys to the general public below cost. As of 9 August 2011, Rebel Sport has decided not to stock the Adidas Rugby Union Jumper.
2012 “shackle” sneakers
On 14 June 2012 Adidas posted on their Facebook page a picture of a pair of shoes containing shackles. The picture was of a planned shoe line that Adidas intended to release in August. The photo quickly caused controversy including that of Jessie Jackson who was quoted as saying “The attempt to commercialize and make popular more than 200 years of human degradation, where blacks were considered three-fifths human by our Constitution is offensive, appalling and insensitive”. Jackson threatened a boycott, and NBA commissioner David Stern was at one point reportedly contacted in hopes that he would intervene. Shortly after the outcry the company canceled the product.
Sweatshops and labor rights violations
Adidas has been criticized for operating sweatshops, particularly in Indonesia. Between 2006 and 2007, Adidas rejected many of its suppliers that supported unions for subcontractors with less reputable labor rights records. By subcontracting work to different suppliers, it is more difficult for Adidas to ensure company labor standards are enforced. Workplace standards that Adidas’ policy upholds include the freedom for workers to take part in collective bargaining and a non-retaliation policy towards workers who express concerns. In practice, however, many of Adidas’ suppliers have not upheld these standards. At the Panarub factory in Java, 33 workers were fired after striking for better pay in 2005. PT Kizone is another Indonesian factory where Adidas has received criticism over treatment of workers. They produced products for Adidas as well as Nike and theDallas Cowboys until they closed in January 2011. Laid off were 2,686 workers, who are owed $3 million in severance pay and benefits. Nike has contributed $1.5 million but Adidas has not acted. A campaign has been initiated by United Students Against Sweatshops calling for universities to cut contracts with Adidas. On 16 July 2012, War on Wantorganised activists in London to replace Adidas price tags in sports stores with 34p ones, a reference to the low hourly wage rate paid to the Indonesian workers who make Adidas goods. The campaign group Labour Behind the Label claimed that the basic pay of Indonesian Adidas workers was only £10 a week. William Anderson, head of social and environmental affairs for the Asia Pacific region, posted an entry on the company blog in which he sought to justify the 34p an hour pay rate.