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.”
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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)