When it comes to sports brands, there are numerous companies to choose from. From Puma to New Balance, each brand has its own unique take on athletic wear; however, two of the biggest and most famous brands are adidas and Nike. While there are pros and cons for each, we are going to get into adidas vs Nike – which brand is better?
A History of Adidas
Adidas was founded by Adolf “Adi” Dassler in Germany. Adi wanted to create a brand that would make some of the best athletic equipment. He registered Adi Dassler adidas Sportschuhfabrik in 1949 and started working with 47 employees in the town of Herzogenaurach. In that same year, Dassler also registered a shoe that would later become the famous three-striped shoe.
The company became a game-changer in the sports industry when Dassler developed spiked running shoes. Many claims that it was the spikes in the shoes that helped the Germans beat the Hungarians in the 1954 World Cup, thus catapulting Adidas into fame and fortune.
Adidas is now the second most popular sports brand after Nike and the three stripes are recognizable the world over.
What Does Adidas Stand For?
Adidas came from the name of the founder, Adolf “Adi” Dassler, and is an abbreviation of his name (“adi” plus “das”). The official name is adidas, with a lowercase a.
Besides being a play on the founder’s name, pop culture has turned the name adidas into an acronym: All Day I Dream About Sports. Some other iterations of the acronym switch the word sport for another word that starts with s, such as soup or Scotland.
A History of Nike
Nike is not quite as old as adidas but like the latter, Nike was founded as a go-to company for athletic wear. It was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman, a track and field coach at the University of Oregon, and his former student Phil Knight. They introduced the Nike shoe in 1972 and renamed the company Nike, Inc. in 1978.
The company is instantly recognizable by the “swoosh,” which is representative of Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory for whom the company was named. The goddess’s wing has a “swooshed” shape and symbolizes speed, movement, motivation, and power.
Nike is the most popular sports brand out there and has built a very strong network of athletes and sports fanatics to keep their products on top.
How Is Adidas Different From Nike?
The main difference between adidas and Nike is the scale of size and the marketing strategies. Nike owns about half of the market share for athletic brands and employs almost three times the number of people that adidas does.
In addition, Nike tends to focus on star power and works with athletes or teams who are popular at the moment or who recently won a championship. Endorsements are an integral part of Nike’s branding and it has helped them beat out adidas.
Does Nike Own Adidas?
No, Nike does not own adidas. However, both of them own other popular shoe brands. Nike also owns Converse, Hurley, and the Jordan brand (named after basketball superstar Michael Jordan). Adidas owns Reebok and is tangentially related to Puma.
Dassler had a brother named Rudolf, who helped him start his shoe company. Unfortunately, they had a falling out and Rudolf branched off on his own, creating Puma.
Nike Vs Adidas Sizing
When it comes to shoe size, Nike shoes tend to run on the smaller side. It has been noted that adidas shoes run true to size whereas Nike shoes run half a size smaller. In addition, adidas shoes are wider than Nike’s, but the latter does make a special line of shoes for wider feet.
Another way to figure out your correct size in Nike or adidas shoes? Measure your feet. Both of the brands will have sizing charts available online that you can check. The sizing chart includes the numbers for the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Is Adidas More Successful Than Nike?
In terms of monetary success, adidas is not as successful as Nike. Nike has a much higher revenue overall and more locations worldwide, which accounts for more sales from different markets. Both companies have had success in working with influential artists and celebrities, but Nike still dominates in that game.
One interesting thing to note is that Nike tends to be more popular in North America. It still makes more money worldwide than adidas, but when it comes to choosing one brand over the other, it appears that consumers outside of North America prefer the three stripes to the swoosh.
What Are Adidas’s Weaknesses?
Adidas is not as good at marketing and getting endorsements, although that has changed within the last few years. Because adidas is a smaller company, it can not operate on as large of a scale as Nike.
Nike also has one of the most catchy mottos: Just Do It. Adidas’s motto is “Impossible is nothing,” but it’s likely that the majority of consumers aren’t aware of this. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense.
What Are Nike’s Weaknesses?
It is true that Nike can claim to be the number one sports brand in the world, but their shoes are not as good quality as adidas’s. Adidas creates items that are high performance and good quality, meaning that they will last a long time.
Adidas does not want to focus on quantity but instead, will spend more time on creating a quality product. Nike products are quite good too, but may not hold up as well in the long term.
Is Nike Or Adidas Cooler?
It’s hard to say which brand is cooler. Both have had historic moments in pop culture history. For example, Run DMC popularized the adidas Superstars by wearing them with no laces. Nike turned Air Jordans into a way of life and it still continues to this day.
Nike may have been cooler for a period of time thanks to the company’s work with A-list celebrities and athletes, but adidas has recently worked with Beyonce, David Beckham, and Pharell. They also helped Kanye West create his wildly popular shoes, Yeezy.
While systemic racism is never cool, people and brands that support them are in some customers’ eyes. When Nike got behind Colin Kaepernick, their sales boomed and they saw their reputation strengthen.
Why Is Adidas So Popular?
Despite Nike being the top-selling brand in the world, adidas still remains popular, especially outside of North America. This can be for several different reasons:
- Adidas puts a lot of research into creating their shoes, which make for comfortable yet high-performing sneakers. Both athletes and normal consumers appreciate that.
- In 2010 adidas sponsored the World Cup in South Africa, which is watched by billions of people around the world.
- Recently, adidas has had success in working with certain celebrities, such as Kanye West. His shoes sold out within the day when they were first released.
There have been other instances where adidas sponsored a team or someone famous wore their shoes, thus creating demand for the brand. Nike seems to be consistently popular whereas adidas does have some ebbs and flows.
Is Adidas Popular In The USA?
Adidas is popular in the USA and is a strong competitor to Nike. Before the pandemic, CNN Business reported that adidas’s North American sales had increased twenty percent. Currently, the company has suffered some losses (as many companies during COVID have), but only time will tell if adidas can continue its successes.