Yeezy just Jumped over Jumpman? Not for long.
For the first time in September 2017, Adidas jumped over Jumpman to become the second biggest selling footwear provider on the planet – an achievement that none of us thought we’d ever see. But the problem doesn’t start and end with Jordan Brand; it’s parent company Nike also took huge L’s in 2017.
There’s no doubt that 2017 was a big, big year for Adidas. With mid-2017 figures showing an incredible 31% boost (pun intended) in sales, compared to a a drop off of 0.66% for Nike. Now that might not sound like much of a drop for the Oregon-based powerhouse, but considering their total volume of sales (upwards of $32 Billion), it was a significant hit for the Swoosh.
But Nike CEO Mark Parkler took the L well, immediately putting an action plan in place that will put Nike back on track for continued world dominance in 2018. Whilst Mark outlined a few important notes, there also a few unmentioned agendas that Nike and Jordan Brand will be tackling in 2018. These are;
“Sports created Nike, but innovation and design made it grow” – Mark Parker, CEO Nike.
Innovation is what has made Nike the market leader for decades. Visible Air Units, Nike Shox, Fuel Bands, Flyknit, Nike+, Lunar foam and of course E.A.R.L. are just a few notables amongst a sea of innovation that has set Nike apart from the competition.
For Nike to continue to win, they need to continue to innovate. And with the recent unveiling of the first Nike REACT foam trainer, the trend looks to continue.
And what Mark Parker said about sports creating Nike couldn’t be more truthful. But what happens when the convergence of hip hop, sports, fashion and art create a melting pot of new pop culture? It creates a brand new (and extremely large) market segment to capitalize on.
And that’s exactly how Adidas stole Nike’s thunder in 2017.
New segments need new influencers. Nike can’t rely solely on their athlete endorsements to make waves in the culture. Continued collaborations with brands like Supreme and Off-White, artists like Kaws, fashion industry bloggers like Aleali May, music stars like Kendrick Lamar and Drake and famous-for-nothing people like Bella Hadid are Nike’s biggest avenues to stay relevant and to cut into the culture.
And Nike and Jordan Brand have these and a lot more on the way for 2018.
3. Stock control
This is a big one for Nike. Too much supply and not enough demand was the issue for Oregon in 2017, due to an unprecedented sway to the three stripe. Not only has Mark Parker committed to less styles overall, Jordan Brand have confirmed lower production numbers per release. Nike have also taken back control of their Wholesale accounts, cutting it from 300,000 to just 40 over the next few years.
That aim is to take more onus on direct selling from their website. This means that Nike will take in more profits per item sold than any other time in their history.
Speaking of history, Nike has plenty of it. And boy, do they know how to manipulate it – especially their Jordan Brand division. And even though Adidas has been around for almost 100 years, their history doesn’t seem to be as significant as Nike’s. How they achieved this is something of marketing brilliance.
The 1990’s was owned by Nike’s ability to market themselves and align themselves with the best athletes in the business. Ever since then, Nike and Jordan Brand have had a licence to print money. However, advertising has rapidly changed forms in the digital age and Adidas had realized the importance of influencers outside of sports long before Nike did.
Nike and JB’s new ties with diverse influencers, along with Jordan retros and old-cum-new Nike trainer hybrids like the Nike Huarace City are key to continuing to build upon the brand’s legacy. All whilst developing fresh ties to youth culture and Nike’s incredible past.
It was an incredible effort by Adidas in 2017, but as they say, the quicker you rise, the quicker you fall. With trends already heading back towards Nike dominance, it won’t be long before Jumpman jumps back over Yeezy.
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