As many of you guessed, my yesterday article about Nike acquiring adidas and Puma was an April fools joke. I received some tweets, emails of friends, colleagues of the industry, some wondering if it was true, others in total disbelief. Regardless, it was fun. However, can this happen?
Could we face a scenario where either Nike could acquire adidas -or vice versa – AND Puma? My designer friend Jason (@eldejo) said: “Adidas would never let that happen. And antitrust laws would prohibit it.”
The fact that a designer is so knowledgeable about marketing/legal issues is beyond me, (just kidding Jason) but Jason has a point, and actually more than one.
Firstly, antitrust laws would definitly veto such a move from either adidas or Nike. We had a similar scenario with Microsoft in the 90’s. Secondly Jason -who also worked for adidas- pointed out that adidas would never let that happen. I agree. Having worked for adidas for almost a decade, I do not believe the 3-Stripes would sit back and watch their their #1 competitor purchase them.
Finally, competition is healthy. Both brands strive to be the best and be the leaders in sports. Why would one want to “kill” the other? Do you think FC Barcelona would have been so powerful without Real Madrid and vice versa? Manchester United without City, Liverpool, Chelsea? Juventus Turin with AC Milan, Inter Milan, etc… etc… you get the point.
I have a passion for our industry. I do believe it’s a privilege to work in this environment which is so competitive and entertaining! These companies create fantastic products, interact with amazing athletes, impact the world in a way you cannot imagine.
On the Football Lounge, I focus mainly on adidas, Nike and Puma since they are the ones who have a stronger impact on football, but there are so many other companies that are also contributing significantly to the football marketing industry.
On the Italian market for example, out of 20 teams in Serie A, 14 are sponsored by Italian based manufacturers. Although the Diadora, Kappa, Errea or Lotto do not have the money power of an adidas or Nike, these companies do count to the growth of the industry as well.
Bottom line is, adidas Nike and Puma rivalry benefits the whole industry.