In the latest sneaker power rankings, the Wall Street Journal reported that adidas lost its long-held No. 2 sportswear brand in America and dropped to third place behind Under Armour. Even though both brands are way behind Nike in terms of sales, the Three Stripes is looking to shake things up. This past June, the brand appointed a new president, Mark King, to oversee its U.S. operations, and he talked to WSJ about his ideas for how adidas can regain some ground in the U.S.
King said one of his priorties is to get the adidas brand more visibility in the football and baseball categories, a space where Under Armour has flourished. "I think one of the things we’re looking at is, how do we become more a part of American sport?" he said. "And then the third thing is the organization is very structured, and the speed of the company is very controlled. And I think the pace in America is a little more chaotic, a little more hectic, and a little more fast-paced, and we need to bring some of that to how we operate."
Part of the strategy will be relocating the brand's global head of design from Germany to the U.S., where sales of footwear have declined 24 percent in the last year. "I think the styling has to be more relevant," King said. "The styling, the design, has to resonate more with American consumers. So the company is moving the global head of design to Portland, so that the head of design lives in America. And he’s also an American. That will happen this fall."
Also key will be making sure there's more convergence between performance and style. "One of the things we’d like to see is there’s a real delineation between style and performance, and we want to see those come together. The consumer isn’t delineating between style and performance, it’s become one thing. That will be a competitive advantage for us, along with innovation," King said.
The North American president didn't talk how the upcoming Kanye West collection with the brand, but you can read the full interview here.