With sport playing an increasingly important role in more and more peoples’ lives, both on and off the field of play, we operate in a highly attractive industry. Based on our deep understanding of our consumer and the authenticity of the adidas brand, we push the boundaries of products, experiences, and services. We do so according to our strategy, which allows us to fully capitalize on the acceleration of favorable long-term structural trends.
‘OWN THE GAME’
‘Own the Game’ is our strategy that guides us through to 2025 – a plan rooted in sport. Sport is adidas’ past, present, and future. ‘Own the Game’ puts the consumer at the heart of everything we do and is brought to life by our people. Our strategic focus is on increasing brand credibility, elevating the experience for our consumer, and pushing the boundaries in sustainability. The execution of our strategy is enabled by a mindset of innovation across all dimensions of our business as well as our digital transformation. We own the game and will drive significant growth.
Our consumers are at the heart of ‘Own the Game’. Consumers drive structural trends in our industry through their preferences and behaviors. They strive to live active and healthy lives, they wish to blend sport and lifestyle, and they are digital by default as well as sustainable by conviction. ‘Own the Game’ will be ready to capture those consumer-driven opportunities and carve out new ones for their benefit. In 2025, ‘Own the Game’ will not only have delivered overproportionate growth for adidas, but also deepened relationships with our consumer, as we continue to actively live our purpose ‘through sport, we have the power to change lives’.
To successfully deliver on our five-year strategy, we will support our people to truly own the game. ‘Own the Game’ puts the consumer at the heart of everything we do and is brought to life by our people. It’s all about creating a culture and environment where our people can consistently thrive, be successful, feel they belong, and ultimately enjoy coming to work.
We have developed the adidas People Promise to make it clear what we stand for as a company. The adidas People Promise will guide us as we strive to deliver our mission to be the best sports brand in the world and live our purpose – Through sport, we have the power to change lives. You will also see our attitude of ‘Impossible is Nothing’ reflected in our People Promise.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion underpins everything we do. It is the glue that spans every country, department and team. We want to ensure that through our people actions, we create an equal starting line for everyone within adidas.
In addition to that, the people part of our strategy is built on 3 pillars:
- Leadership: We will develop leaders to own the game and act as role models empowering all people to realize their possibilities.
- Betterment : We believe in a mindset of continuous learning and improvement and are committed to providing relevant learning opportunities to upskill and reskill for the future.
- Performance: We build the best teams that play to win, recognizing and rewarding both individual and team performances.
OUR STRATEGIC FOCUS AREAS
We are a leading brand thanks to our credibility in both sport and culture. To continue to excite our consumers with innovative concepts that support our mission, we will sharpen our brand, refine our product offering, and leverage partnerships to further enhance our credibility with consumers.
- Sport: We will focus on the most important sport categories: Football, Training, Running, and Outdoor. Football is the biggest sport in terms of viewership, while Running, Training, and Outdoor are the biggest participation sports. Our products in these categories are built for sport and worn for sport.
- Lifestyle: To tap into the biggest commercial opportunity for our brand, we will sharpen our brand architecture by introducing a new consumer proposition called Sportswear. These products are born from sport and worn for style. At the same time, we will extend Originals, which is inspired by sport and worn on the street, into the premium segment through top-quality manufacturing processes and materials.
- Women: We will execute on a cross-category plan to achieve product excellence and elevate the women’s experience through our membership program to become their indispensable sports brand. Our goal is to grow currency-neutral net sales for our Women’s business at a mid-teens rate per annum on average until 2025, thereby significantly increasing the Women’s share of our overall business.
- Partnerships: We will amplify our credibility through our partnerships by leveraging their power, authenticity, and reach. We will expand our portfolio of partners, which already includes Beyoncé, Kanye West, Stella McCartney, and Pharrell Williams, all of whom will continue to play a significant role in wowing our consumer on the lifestyle side. Likewise, we will continue to leverage our partnerships with the biggest symbols in sport, be it with teams like Bayern Munich or Real Madrid, athletes like Lionel Messi or Mikaela Shiffrin, or events like the Boston and Berlin Marathons.
To grow long-term relationships with our consumer, we excite and empower them by creating personalized experiences in both digital and physical spaces. With this in mind, we will accelerate our transformation into a direct-to-consumer-led (DTC-led) business built around membership.
- Membership: With the launch of our membership program in 2018, we laid the foundation for offering personalized experiences to our most valuable consumers. We are now ready to take this to the next level with the goal of increasing our member base to around 500 million by 2025. Through membership, we reward engagement and purchasing activity by offering exclusive hype products, access to launches and special events, and more.
- DTC-led: e-com continues to be our most important store. Both adidas.com and the adidas app will see enhancements across the entire consumer journey. By 2025, our e-com business is expected to account for between € 8 billion and € 9 billion of our company’s net sales. While e-com is the pinnacle of our retail strategy, our physical stores will continue to play a crucial role in creating a physical and emotional connection with our brand. Retail formats will be digitized with fully-fledged omnichannel capabilities. The DTC business, comprising our e-com as well as our physical stores, is projected to account for around half of the company’s net sales by 2025. We will also continue to leverage our strong relationships with strictly selected wholesale partners and ‘win-with-the-winners’ to ensure a holistic experience for the consumer no matter the point of sale.
- Key Cities: We are building on our Key Cities portfolio of London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo, by adding Mexico City, Berlin, Moscow, Dubai, Beijing, and Seoul. These cities represent the beating heart of our global consumer experience and exert influence on the rest of the world, while at the same time offering commercial opportunities as urbanization continues.
- Strategic markets: We will double down on Greater China, North America, and EMEA to bring exciting consumer experiences to life, pursuing a tailored approach that appeals to local trends. Our ambition is to gain market share in all three strategic markets.
Our commitment to sustainability is truly holistic and deeply embedded into how we have done business for over two decades. It’s rooted in our purpose that, ‘through sport, we have the power to change lives’. As we continue to pioneer in sustainability, we will move from strong stand-alone initiatives to a scaled and comprehensive sustainability program.
- What we offer: We keep pushing the boundaries of our sustainable offering, so that our consumer will be able to choose from a uniquely comprehensive range. By 2025, nine out of ten of our articles will be sustainable. How we will do this revolves around how we expand and innovate our 3-loops: made from recycled materials, made to be remade, or made with natural and renewable materials. We define products as sustainable when they show environmental benefits versus conventional products due to the materials used or their respective production technologies.
- What we do: We are committed to reducing the CO2 footprint of our product offerings as we work to reach climate neutrality by 2050. We will achieve this through initiatives such as driving zero-carbon within our own operations and promoting environmental programs along our entire value chain in close cooperation with our suppliers.
- What we say: We will be vocal about our efforts that focus on creating low-impact products that are made to be remade. To guide our consumer to make more sustainable choices, we will also simplify our labelling strategy and scale up our product takeback program.
INNOVATION AND DIGITAL
Two enablers will set us up for success. The first is applying a mindset of deep and broad innovation across all dimensions of our business. The second is using the speed and agility of Digital throughout our entire value chain. These enablers will be particularly powerful when it comes to executing on the three strategic focus areas – Credibility, Experience, and Sustainability – that support us in intensifying our focus on the consumer and driving growth.
To watch a recording of the 'Own the Game' presentation, which happened on 10 March 2021, or to access more strategy related resources, please click here.