The acquisition of Adidas by French financier Robert Louis-Dreyfus in 1993 has been the beginning of a big brand name; Adidas has expanded its product line and absorbed other sports-gear makers. It closed a $3. 8 billion acquisition of competitor Reebok International Ltd.
Adidas planned maintain the Reebok line and promote it globally along side with the Adidas brand. Adidas during 2006 made a decision to purchase Reebok and though they purchase another shoe company business did not flourish. Adidas had to deal with the fact that the company they acquired was not doing well in the market and a new marketing promotion plan needed to take place to reinvigorate the consumer’s purchase of the product. Adidas has to strengthen there brand and the idea was to build the brand name with sponsorship during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The sponsorship opportunity in Beijing was a springboard to gain a larger share of the world’s fastest-growing major market and become the marketing leader in China during 2008. The marketing strategy was a blend of action photography and computer graphics. The series was released in phases during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. “Together in 2008, Impossible is Nothing” is an integrated marketing campaign. Through a combination of TV, print, outdoor, PR, digital, point-of-sale and road shows across the country of China, the campaign provides various platforms enabling consumers to get closer to the athletes and the Olympic Games.
The Beijing Olympics is fast approaching and this early, most companies who want to place their ads and endorsements in this monumental event are trying strategically to place themselves and capture a piece of the market. For Adidas, there is a battle at hand and that of which is to give rival company Nike a run for their money. Nike is a known brand in China and surely they have the obvious advantage. Adidas reportedly shelled out 70 million Euros to be an official Olympic sponsor. Adidas gear was also all over Olympians, great for television, the company clothed 27 out of 28 teams.
But aside from shoes and uniforms, Adidas was not particularly visible in Olympic venues. It had no special presence on the Olympic Green, but its beautiful flagship store in Sanlitun near the Workers’ Stadium and Workers’ Gymnasium saw lots of foot traffic. Its Olympic ad campaign, though beautifully designed and fitting in concept “Together in 2008, Impossible is Nothing”, came up short in the personnel categories. That campaign had four primary faces, in sports that are very popular in China–diver Hu Jia, footballer Zheng Zhi, basketball player Sui Feifei and a few women’s volleyball players.
Hu pulled out due to injury, Zheng and the men’s football team had an embarrassing performance and Sui Feifei was only sixth in scoring on Team China. The women’s volleyball team played strong in a very tough field, but in the end only came through with the minimum result acceptable to the hometown fans, a bronze medal. After the Olympics the sales of sports apparel went up in China, sales of premium sportswear in China have rocketed from almost zero a little more than a decade ago to $350 million for Nike and $300 million for Adidas last year and sector was worth $3 billion in total last year and is expected to grow 20 percent in 2009.