Adidas has always stood as an exemplary pillar of justice in the sneaker and sporting world. Their refusal to use child labour coupled with efficient German performance based production has made the brand the number one athletic choice in the world. Nike who’s gross turnover is admittedly much larger than that of Adidas, still cannot match the amount of athletes and events which are endorsed by Adidas.
Nike have also in many respects copied Adidas’s business model, endorsing big athletes and buying out the competition, with Converse and Starter now being owned by Nike while Adidas bought Reebok quite a few years back.
The key selling point for Nike has been elevated prices, expensive technological styles (air max/360/Shox), taking advantage of retroism to the point of madness and pioneering Sport focused Womens trainers, Nike SB and 6.0. This was done through huge marketing deals with the likes of Footlocker, Athletes Foot and Foot Action where Nike sold huge and discounted wholesale orders in turn for a lot of middle-market advertising and endorsement.
Adidas Originals and Consortium have shown that Adidas can definitely compete on the retro and special/limited edition fronts. Adidas have even opened up a premier account with JD sports meaning Adidas Originals are sold in the most bog standard of trainer-marts up and down the country. These JD sports releases are usually re-branded versions emblazoned with huge Adidas logos or slogans to appease the hordes of gaudy brand name obsessed Scallies, Pikeys, Chavs and unfortunate sale rack shoppers.
Yet still, Nike remains fiercely dominant in the industry grossing around 19 billion per year as opposed to Adidas’ 10.3 billion.
So as a huge Adidas fan, I can accept that maybe Adidas is a smaller player in the American market. But from where can I draw solace that Adi Dassler’s legacy will not be trampled by Nike’s thundering hooves of Uber-commercialism?
Simple tingz like.
It is their swagger. History, relevance, design, performance, style, endorsement and choice are the gems of the bounty in making a successful line of sneakers. A delectable yet distinct aroma of classiness wafts from a freshly opened electric blue treasure chest. Their majesty could have been buried for thirty years but their glory will always have remained intact, Pirates may have tried to steal their ideas and even counterfeit them but their efforts have been as futile as Keira Knightly attempting to sexually arouse a human male.
Adidas has a backlog of swashbuckling styles rivalled by no-one, from the Chile ’72’s sleek and elegant running style to the ZX series, the first “Cross Trainers” unmatched range and style or even the Stan Smith the first properly endorsed tennis shoe…oh and yeah, the biggest selling trainer of all time.
The list goes on and on and on. So although it could be seen as retroism, the new evolutions of older Adidas trainers have always accompanied by a more modern style, a fine example is the famed Adidas Superstar (or “Shell toes” if you’re a Budweiser swigging loud mouthed American tit-wank).
The Superstars originally were an 80s New York staple piece LL Cool J (generic) , Run DMC (no laces) and Slick Rick (fat laces), shit Rick James probably had a pair covered in cocaine and diamonds no doubt. But since the days of Jheri curls, high tops and Mullets they have changed with the times; Superstar II, Superstar half shell, NBA Superstar, Superstar LTO and most recently the Superstar Vintage and now we’ve come full circle to the Superstar 80s. Yeah, Nike, Why aren’t you doing that?
In my admittedly biased opinion, Adidas has roots which dig deep into the landscapes of fashion and Sport. During my ill fated fashion career I was frequently told by stylists there are four things which have never and will never go out of fashion: Denim (as in jeans, not Ugg boots), T shirts, formal suits and THE RIGHT trainers.
Adidas have always been the purveyors of righteousness, as styles and fashions change some pieces become constant. Like pillars in the coliseum of swagger, Adidas bears the weight of fashion with an unfailing dedication and invincible reliability. A pillar which will stand strong and true long after the filthy heresy of the Ugg boot has deservedly been vigorously violated and left to perish in a Roman-era cobbled alley reeking of piss.
Written by Thomas the Shank Engine.