adidas has its pulse on the culture right now.
The sneaker conglomerate has locked down Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, traveled across the pond to link up with Stormzy, and dominate the court with the help of James Harden, Andrew Wiggins, and Kristaps Porzingis. Now the quest to own the baseball field continues with the signing of New York Yankee slugger Aaron Judge.
Tuesday morning, the three stripes took to Twitter to announce the latest member of the family— and judgment day is here, as the 25-year-old Yanks star joins the likes of Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa.
Judge told Sports Illustrated that he never thought he’d sign an endorsement deal this early in his career as he hasn’t even been in the majors for a year, but he’s excited.
“The coolest part is that they’re not all about sports, and that was so clear in one of my first meetings with them. They’re about lifestyle and showing who I was and who I am as a person. It’s what made the choice easy,” Judge said. He’s ready to go even harder in the upcoming season and prove his success wasn’t a fluke.
And adidas is out to prove that the resurgence is no fluke either— the three stripes are here to stay.The German-born company has the rock—and growing market share— right now. Thanks to the ever-evolving nature that is fashion, what was cool is now cool again.
“The fashion cycle we are in, which is casual and retro, plays to their sweet spot,” says Matt Powell, NPD Group’s sports industry analyst. The adidas Superstar has gone from being the show of choice for Run-DMC to everyone’s go-to staple, as the simplistic and equally as affordable Stan Smith has become a cool factor. Its stock price can’t be ignored either. adidas has seen a steady growth over the past few years that can’t be disputed. The growth first became disruptive and apparent in 2016, when adidas sales growth outpaced both Nike and Under Armour. The attention to sustainability, like recently revealing it has sold more than one million pairs of sneakers made of ocean plastic.
The attention paid to the disruptors in culture is being recognized and appreciated, with commercials featuring the likes of Kendall Jenner, James Harden, 21 Savage, Young Thug, and Playboi Carti. The three stripes are doing it their way and so are people joining the family— just ask Kanye West who made the move from the Swoosh to adidas and has even outfitted his Yeezy collection with Boost technology.
The brand offered him more money than we did. “He took our offer because we offered him full creative reign,” explained adidas Global Director of Entertainment Jon Wexler on Twitter. Kanye isn’t the only mega rap star to ponder switching sides— allegedly Drake is, too, as he’s “looking for an exit and a new deal that would afford him more creative control.” While no party involved in the matter has made comment, he was spotted rocking a pair of Yeezy boots in early March.
While Nike is still the No. 1 sports brand in the United States, adidas is swinging and not missing. Besides, the real winner when it comes to brand competition is customers.