Despite its recent Kanye West-shaped troubles, Adidas is having a good year. The brand reported first-quarter earnings on Thursday and said that net income rose 17 percent to 542 million euros ($650 million) ahead of analyst expectations.
Sales were particularly strong in North America, surging 21 percent where rival Nike has faltered in recent quarters. (Adidas has been enjoying double-digit growth in U.S. markets for several consecutive quarters, gaining 29 percent in the region in Q4.) Baltimore-based Under Armour has likewise posted disappointing results stateside, giving Adidas the opportunity to gain even more market share on its competitors’ home turf.
Despite its momentum, Adidas still has a long way to go before it reaches Nike’s scale; the German brand posted sales of €4.3 billion ($5.1 billion) in North America, compared with Nike’s $15.2 billion in 2017.
The smaller brand does come out in the top spot in one other arena, however: A recent study from analytics firm Brandwatch found that Adidas has the most shared logo on social media, beating out Nike, Google and Puma (and perhaps confirming the brand’s digital “genius”). Its Image Insights product analyzed photos posted to Instagram and Twitter, and found that Adidas’ signature Three Stripes logo was included in more than 6 million images per month, on average, compared with Nike’s swoosh at just over 5 million. Sports sponsorships account for much of the shared content: Cristiano Ronaldo and other FIFA stars pushed Adidas ahead in Europe and South America, while Nike led the pack in the U.S.
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