MAJOR FREE THROWS: With athletic brands ever vying for any kind of competitive edge, Adidas AG and Foot Locker have bolstered their partnership.
In a joint announcement released Thursday by the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based athletic brand and the U.S.-headquartered retail chain, the companies flagged product innovation, elevated experiences and deeper consumer connectivity as the impetus for the enhanced partnership. The union means that Foot Locker will be the lead partner for Adidas in basketball. It will also include “hype launches” and the development of key franchises in women’s and children’s, as well as apparel among other initiatives.
Spanning all Foot Locker banners in North America as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Asia Pacific regions, the strategic partnership aims to reach more than $2 billion in retail sales by 2025, nearly tripling last year’s figures. This year, Adidas expects to generate up to 100 million euros, due to the new partnership.
Last year alone, the global market for athletic apparel generated about $193 billion in revenue. The expectation is that growth will continue, with $270 billion in revenues being the projection for 2028, according to Statista.
Adidas chief executive officer Kasper Rorsted noted in a statement how the brand is “deepening the partnership as it continues to execute its ‘Own the Game’ strategy.” With 61,000 employees globally, Adidas generated 21.2 billion euros in sales last year.
Foot Locker’s chairman and CEO Richard Johnson highlighted how the “close partnership” will result in the retailer bringing “consumers even more unique, pinnacle products from iconic brands,” while accelerating its push into apparel and attracting more customers.” With about 2,900 stores in 28 countries, Foot Locker Inc.’s portfolio includes Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Eastbay, Atmos, WSS and Sidestep.
Fear of God founder and designer Jerry Lorenzo will lead the Adidas basketball range at Foot Locker. Lifestyle and performance products will be in the mix including exclusive designs, as well as key Originals franchises like NMD, Superstar and Stan Smith. Foot Locker will also have an integral role in the launch of Adidas’ new sportswear product division that is geared more for lifestyle shoppers than hard-core athletic ones. Ultra casual dress codes adopted by millions during the pandemic shutdown remain in place for many regardless if they are still working remotely or in offices and other areas of business.
The strategy involves Adidas providing Foot Locker with a dedicated team to create an “elevated consumer experience” in stores and online. That will call for teamwork in product development, exclusive positioning, shared marketing spending and premium positioning across Foot Locker’s portfolio with an emphasis on key cities and communities that both companies cater to. Both athletic giants will be ramping up their digital focus for the rollout of the Adidas partner program at Foot Locker to try to convey seamlessness to shoppers.