Updated: Jun 9, 2019
Adidas and Nike aren't the only rivals, we have the obvious Apple vs Android, Coke vs Pepsi, Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers (with LeBron), Liverpool vs Manchester United, the list goes on. But, Adidas vs Nike is nothing new, if anything it should be expected, as both brands share more similarities than differences. Which will be covered later on, for now let's get into a little history.
Known worldwide for its infamous three stripes acquired in 1952, but how many of you knew Adidas wasn't always called Adidas? In the summer of 1924 Adidas was founded by Adolf Dassler under the name: Gebrunder Dassler Schuhfabrik, it was in his mothers house where Dassler made sports shoes and in late July his brother Rudolf joined him. For the 1936 Olympics, Dassler was able to persuade Jesse Owens to wear a pair of hand made Adidas spikes. The two split in 1947 and that was how Adidas and Puma were born. This created the first rivalry between Adidas and another brand, a very petty rivalry too, click here to find out why. After acquiring the three stripes Bernard Taipe bought the company in 1989 and took production outside of Germany before selling Adidas in 1992. Robert Louis-Dreyfus then became CEO in 1994 and bankruptcy looked imminent but Louis-Dreyfus was able to turn things around.
Founded in 1964, formerly known as Blue Ribbon Sports by two Americans: Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. Bowerman the track coach and Knight the track athlete at Oregon University. Initially Nike acted as a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger, the child of ASICS. Once a pair of Nike shoes were worn at the 1960 Olympics by Otis Davis the athlete who won two gold medals, Nike were finally able to put themselves on the map. Who doesn't love a bit of motivation - "Just Do It" a world famous slogan was introduced in 1988, seventeen years after the Swoosh was first used in 1971 then registered in 1974. Although this occurred, both Knight and Bowerman were still selling Onitsuka Tiger shoes up until 1981 when the relationship was more or less over. By 1980 Nike had 50% market share in the US athletic shoe market and went public in December of the same year, and from then almost everything was up.
Both Adidas and Nike have first hand relationships with sports, especially team and individual sponsorships. But, it can be argued that the calibre of a team or athlete is better for one brand than the other. Football teams sponsored by Nike: Barcelona, Paris Saint German, Chelsea and Roma. Football teams sponsored by Adidas: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, Lyon. Football fans have been, and are still waiting for a Nike vs Adidas game. Ozil assisting Messi, Ronaldo setting up Mbappe, when will they give the people what we want?
Let's not forget Nike are the main sponsor for the NBA, WNBA, NBA D-League and FIBA. Looking at the NBA, Nike have the best player in the league for the past few seasons LeBron James under their belt, Adidas have James Harden, no tea, no shade. He's a great player but the calibre of player under each sponsor is different.
Both brands have weaved their way into streetwear, whether it was intentional or not we'll never know but we're grateful. The combination of the streetwear and sneaker community as well as, the demand for something different must play a part in the fierce competition and long awaited sneaker releases and collabs from Adidas and Nike. Another similarity is of course the simplicity of the logos both in black and white, two colours you can never go wrong with. We can't talk about the logos without mentioning the slogans, made up of three words. Nike - Just Do It, forget the obstacles, anything is possible. Adidas - Impossible Is Nothing, anything is possible once you work towards it. The pair are words to live by.
Logos & Slogans:
Look at Messi (Adidas) and Ronaldo (Nike), depending on which side of the fence you sit on one of these players is better-Messi-but is the sponsorship the same for both players? Both have their respective football boots but in the past year Ronaldo has had two of his very own versions of the Nike Air Max 97 and Nike Air Force One. If that's not going above and beyond in terms of sponsorship we're not sure what is, because Nike really didn't have to do either. What has Adidas offered Messi? We're still waiting.
The marketing strategies of Adidas and Nike are slightly similar especially here in the UK, Adidas and Nike aren't hesitant to send popping UK artists some free crep, every once in a while. Nike are especially good at incorporating the culture into brand advertising, the 'Nothing Beats A Londoner' video is a prime example of London culture, from the slang, spoken experiences and lifestyle that many Londoners can relate to, click here to watch. Nike are always in the know, they know what's popular and find a way to use it successfully. Adidas are currently too focused on Yeezy's and ugly crep that no one is checking for. Give us something else, something new, anything that will help shorten the gap between them and Nike. Adidas are their worst enemy, after the success of the ZX Flux, NMD and Ultra Boost, it seems as though they're out of ideas. If they must, they can look at Nike for ideas as Nike seem to be the ones setting trends.
On two separate occasions last week on our Instagram we ran a poll where we asked on our story for our followers to vote for their favourite brand. The results may be a bit-just a tad bit-biased because our feed is full of a variety of Nike sneakers with the odd exclusions, but the results were:
Poll 1: Adidas - 19% ~ Nike - 81%
Poll 2: Adidas - 14% ~ Nike - 86%
The people have spoken and based on our own preferences, right now and for many years Nike is and has been the better brand. With all of their sneaker releases, the Air Max 98, 97, React Element 87, VaporMax Plus and TNs Nike have found a way to pull away from Adidas. In order for Adidas to catch up they have to do some soul searching and get back in the drawing board. Define what makes their brand what it is, which is what Nike did with the original VaporMax. They combined the flyknit material from previous Nike models and paired it with air technology, one of many things that Nike is known for. The VaporMax did well and Nike made it better by creating the VaporMax Plus a hybrid between the Air Max Plus and VaporMax, something we didn't necessary want but definitely need.
What are your thoughts, will Adidas ever catch up or is the gap not as big as we think it is?
This has to be our longest post yet, we hope you enjoyed this read especially if you made it this far. Our other Crep Talks and Crep Checks aren't usually this long, this is really a one off. We would promise consistency, but right now it's unrealistic, just know whenever we're able to give you a new post we will. So while you wait look around and read another post, all are sure to peak your interest!
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