The brand with the three stripes is now the #2 sneaker brand in the United States.
In 2012, Kanye West first rapped that “Yeezys jumped over the Jumpman,” in reference his Nike Air Yeezy sneakers, which he felt were more coveted than any Air Jordan sneakers. Four years later, West, having joined Adidas, doubled down when he repeated the boast (now in reference to his Adidas Yeezy Boost line) in his song “Facts.” But Jordan outsold Adidas, and so West’s proclamation was never exactly true—until today, when news emerged that Adidas has in fact had surpassed Jordan Brand in terms of market share in the United States.
According to NPD Group, Adidas now owns 13% of the sneaker market in the United States, more than double what it had a year ago, and 1.7% higher than what was reported in June. That number puts Adidas at number two behind Nike, which holds about 44% market share in the region, down from 60% in 2014. (The 44% pulls from Nike, as well as subsidiaries Jordan Brand and Converse). Nike is still clearly king in the United States, but Adidas is giving them more than one reason to sweat, starting with Nike’s weak basketball sneaker sales. In the month of August, per Market Watch, “Adidas basketball grew more than 40%, while Nike declined in the mid-singles and Brand Jordan lost about a third of its sales. Under Armour basketball was down about half.”
Most observers agree on the major reason for Nike’s decline: a lack of excitement for the basketball and running sneakers so essential to the Swoosh’s business. As for Jordan Brand, fans are simply fatigued by the amount of retro Air Jordan sneakers the brand has released over the past couple of years, flooding the market with hundreds of thousands of pairs per release. In short, it seems like there are only so many versions of old school Air Jordans most people are willing to buy.
Industry insiders aren’t quite as clear on the cause of Adidas’s success. According to NPD Group’s Matt Powell, the brand’s success has to do with the popularity of its classic styles like the Adidas Superstar (the best selling sneaker of 2016) and Stan Smith. But ask any hypebeast why they’ve been buying up Adidas sneakers recently, and you’re bound to hear the name Kanye West. As always, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle: With Yeezys being produced in limited runs, it’s safe to assume that West’s signature line of sneakers has had little direct effect on Adidas’s bottom line. There’s something to be said for West’s “halo effect” on the rest of Adidas’s product line, but just how much hype runoff Adidas has scooped up thanks to the Yeezy Boosts is next to impossible to calculate.
If hype does shift the conversation, it’s good news for Nike. In 2017, the pendulum has swung again, and they’ve had the hottest sneaker collaborations in the industry, from Virgil Abloh’s Air Jordan 1s to Tom Sachs’ Mars Yard 2.0 sneakers. Like Yeezys, these sneakers don’t move massive numbers, but they do get people talking and thinking about Nike. On the basketball front, its long-unloved Air Jordan sneakers seem to be having a resurgence, while its newest LeBron signature sneaker is sure to make waves when it hits stores next month. Adidas’s popularity is currently skyrocketing in the United States, but we wouldn’t count out the Swoosh just yet.
Story Via: GQ