By  on November 8, 2010

BERLIN — Adidas aims to surpass Nike as the world’s leading activewear firm, with plans to grow revenues by almost 50 percent to 17 billion euros, or $23.85 billion at current exchange rates, by 2015.

“When we are focused, we are a formidable competitor to any brand that may choose to compete with us, and with this attitude we have established what is now a two-horse race for market leadership in our industry,” said Adidas Group chief executive officer Herbert Hainer.

The Adidas five-year strategic business plan, called “Route 2015,” was presented Monday during an investor day at the company’s headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Key planks include expanding the company’s fast-fashion business with more frequent deliveries of its subbrand Neo, establishing Reebok as a leading fitness and training brand, and gaining market share in the running and basketball categories. Customization of products and digital initiatives round out the plan.

Importance is also being placed on delivering a consistent experience for the consumer globally, from product to service, regardless of where the customer lives, Hainer explained, because shoppers can share their experiences with the world in just a few mouse clicks. “We have to win the battle at the points of sale,” he said.

Erich Stamminger, president and ceo of the Adidas brand, pointed out the huge growth potential in the sportswear and fashion market, currently being tapped at different levels by Adidas Originals, Stella McCartney for Adidas and Y-3.Stamminger identified five targeted consumer groups that will help Adidas determine different ways to communicate the desirability of its brand, and create an emotional connection with customers.

“Brands become much more a friend than just something natural. Desirable brands — I want to have the brand and I want to show to my friends I’m aligned with value of the brands I’m wearing,” said Stamminger, pointing out that Adidas Originals has more than 5 million friends on Facebook — the most, he claimed, of any brand in the world.

Local competitor Puma, which recently released its own 2015 plan to raise sales to 4 billion euros, or $5.16 billion at current exchange, is also aiming for the sports fashion arena.

Detailed plans for three key markets were laid out by Hainer, starting with North America, where the 7 million U.S. high school kids who play team sports will be a special focus, both “on the field and in the hallway,” influencing distribution, communication, and investments in sporting programs. In China, Adidas anticipates double-digit growth each year for the next five years, and hopes to regain market leadership between 2014 and 2015 by opening numerous stores, targeting the untapped women’s market and highlighting the Adidas Originals brand to sports fashion-driven consumers. In Russia, where Adidas holds 60 percent of the market and Reebok is a close second, initiatives include seasonal and outdoor offerings, store expansion, and increasing units per transaction in existing stores.Other growth markets are Latin America, Japan, the U.K. and India.

“In 2010, as you know, we are right on track to meet our goals. We entered this new era as a very different company to the one which entered the last. We entered it as an unquestionable global leader,” said Hainer.

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