Nike Tops List of Most Valuable Fashion Brands, but Adidas Is Gaining Ground

When it comes to the value of its brand, Nike is miles ahead of its competition — or rather $14 billion ahead, according to Brand Finance’s annual ranking of the top 50 apparel and accessories brands by value.

The Oregon-based sportswear giant came in at the head of the list, with a brand value of $32.4 billion, a gain of 16 percent over last year. The consulting firm credits this boost in part to Nike’s strong financial results: The company reported double-digit sales growth going into the holiday season, with healthy performance in all international markets.

It also made a major splash with its “Just Do It” campaign starring Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who has become a divisive figure over his choice to take a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racism. While some people called for a boycott, Nike received more than $43 million worth of media exposure in the first 24 hours after the campaign dropped, according to Apex Marketing Group.

“Nike’s bold marketing makes it standout in a busy marketplace of sportswear apparel brands,” said Richard Haigh, managing director of Brand Finance. “In a time when customers look for experiences and emotional connection, Nike’s offering comes with unambiguous messages and values that people can rally behind.”

The swoosh wasn’t the only athletic brand that made strides this year, however: Adidas moved from the fourth spot up to third as its brand value soared 17 percent to $16.7 billion. (H&M, which last year was second to Nike, sunk to fourth place amid inventory issues and a struggle to move away from rampant discounting.) Brand Finance pointed to Adidas’ success in North America — where it has been steadily carving out a larger slice of the market in recent years — as a significant factor in its rise.

Below are the top labels by valuation, as calculated by Brand Finance for both this year and last (figures in parenthesis reflect those of 2018):

Nike — $32.4 billion ($28 billion)
Zara — $18.4 billion ($17.5 billion)
Adidas — $16.7 billion ($14.3 billion)
H&M — $15.9 billion ($18.9 billion)
Cartier — $13.6 billion ($9.8 billion)
Louis Vuitton — $13.6 billion ($10.5 billion)
Uniqlo — $12 billion ($8.1 billion)
Hermès — $10.9 billion ($11.3 billion)
Gucci — $10.2 billion ($8.6 billion)
Rolex — $8 billion ($6.4 billion)

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