Kanye’s influence and star power has helped the Adidas brand overthrow Jordan Brand as the number two brand in USA sport footwear. Adidas basketball shoe sales led the way, rising over 40% in the month.
Mike Powell, NPD’s sports industry analyst, said, “This is an achievement I never thought I would see in my lifetime”.
In the last two reported quarters, Adidas’ overall US sales growth went up 41 and 45 percent, while Nike, which has a significantly larger business, saw an increase of 3 percent in one quarter and none in the other.
The leader in the marketplace, Jordan brand owner Nike, dropped from 39 percent of the market share for the first eight months of previous year to 37 percent for the first eight months of 2017.
So, what’s causing Adidas’ sudden momentum? This technology appears to be resonating with consumers to a higher degree than the star power of sponsored athletes.
Many of the NBA’s most notable players are signed as spokesmen for the three companies, including James Harden and Damian Lillard for Adidas, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Giannis Antetokounmpo for Nike, and Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler for Jordan.
As Powell also reports, Adidas’ sales more than doubled at shoe chains which is why the brand is paying much more attention to those types of stores. Basketball is one of the most popular and fastest growing sports in the world’s most populous country. Year-to-date, NKE has gained 6.30%, versus a 12.75% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
The other half of the story is Jordan’s continued stagnation. The Nike brand has been suffering for a while now, a problem that Morgan Stanley analysts have called “previously unthinkable.”
Jordan has been struggling amid an industrywide downturn in sales of basketball sneakers. The trends are now favoring low-top sneakers like the Adidas Superstar, as the chunkier looks of basketball shoes don’t quite fit in with skinny jeans and joggers.
To remedy the issue, Nike has been releasing more and more Jordan shoes, including re-releases of vintage styles. Now, when Jordan shoes are released, they do not always sell out instantly. That has eroded the brand value of Jordan, which has long-term implications for the company, according to Josh Luber, CEO of the sneaker-resale platform StockX.
Nike as a whole is still the top sportswear seller in the US.