Adidas will increase its focus on sports in the U.S. to propel its stateside business.
“We want to double down on all of the things that are U.S.-centric, particularly around sport,” Rupert Campbell, president of the company’s North America operations, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal interview Sunday (April 30).
To that end, the German athleticwear giant said it has invested hundreds of millions of dollars on a new Los Angeles facility for its basketball product group, as well as on upgrades to its main American hub in Portland, Oregon, according to the report.
In addition, Adidas will open more stores in the U.S. and form new collaborations with athletes. The company has also renewed its long-standing partnership with Major League Soccer, the report said.
“We have to be focusing on sports — that’s where the root of Adidas is,” Campbell said in the report.
Adidas hasn’t done well when it has ventured outside the world of sports, as seen with two of the company’s high-profile celebrity partnerships: one with hip-hop star Ye (formerly Kanye West) and the other with Beyoncé.
Although Adidas considered its partnership with Ye to be “one of the most successful” in its history, the company ended its collaboration due to the rapper’s antisemitic social media outbursts. The split has led to an estimated $1.3 billion revenue loss for Adidas.
The company’s IVY PARK collaboration with Beyoncé saw disagreements between Adidas and the pop star’s team over product labeling and marketing. That led to Beyoncé appearing less frequently in promotional campaigns for the IVY PARK collection. The singer and the sportswear maker announced the end of their partnership in March.
The WSJ report noted that Adidas’ new focus on the U.S. and sports comes under the leadership of new CEO Bjorn Gulden, who took the reins of the company in late 2022.
The company is projected to record its first annual loss in 30 years this year.
“[The year] 2023 will be [one] of transition to set the base to again be a growing and profitable company,” Gulden said in February. “We will put full focus on the consumer, our athletes, our retail partners and our Adidas employees.”
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