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Dakarai Turner

Adidas Jumps Over Jordan Brand for the Number Two Spot

October 24, 2017

Last month, it was reported that Adidas has officially passed the Nike owned Jordan brand as the #2 most popular athletic shoe brand in the U.S, with the #1 spot belonging to Nike. So why should you care? This is a pure example of just how far a proper product can take you. Throughout my whole life when the thought of sneakers came up it was pretty much Jordan and Nike up on a cliff and all of the others (Puma, Adidas, Sketchers, Converse, etc) so far down they barely made the conversation. I have vivid memories of the first days of school where everyone sported a fresh pair of Nike’s or Jordan’s. Whether it was basketball shoes, running shoes, or a casual pair, Nike was the shoe on everyone’s mind. Until now.

Although Nike still has the #1 spot, Adidas was able to make a name for themselves and disrupt the footwear market in 2017. In the first quarter of 2017, the brand pulled in $6.4 Billion which is an 18.9% increase compared to the previous year. What helped drive this growth? Sneakers such as the Superstar (photo below), the NMD Runner, the Tubular Shadow, the Alpha Bounce, and the Stan Smith. It’s certainly worth noting that last year for the first time in over a decade, Nike did not have the highest selling sneaker in the U.S. This spot belonged to the classic Adidas Superstar. One of the first steps in the Adidas takeover.

On top of simply great products that capitalize on the current sneaker trends, Adidas has also leveraged celebrity partnerships such as their highly successful Air Yeezy line of shoes with Kanye West. Often seen as the reason why Adidas is currently #2, although this isn’t exactly the case. I think if anything Kanye West has elevated the overall perception of the brand, which is difficult to attribute to direct sales figures. However, the brand has seen a bigger push with their classic Superstar and Stan Smith shoes.

Although Adidas still has a long way to go before taking over the #1 spot in North America, it is still quite impressive to see how fast they’ve grown considering Nike is like the Coca Cola of the footwear market. This meaning it’s a brand that is widely recognized as the leader in their category that is also seen as the brand that will forever reign supreme. The exciting part about two companies going head to head is that the products they deliver will simply get better. The engineering behind the shoes will be elevated, the marketing campaigns attached with every shoe release will be on point, and the brand’s will continue to push the culture forward. If I’m speaking from personal experiences, my last few shoe purchases have all been Adidas and it might just be a result of seeing them around more often.

What do you guys think? Could you see Adidas taking passing Nike in the near future?



Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.


Consumed by Culture – Marketing the Hype

March 12, 2016

Guest Article By:  Martin Fortunato

Back in high school I considered myself to have the freshest pair of creps on my feet at any given moment. I remember having stacks of sneaker boxes from the floor to the roof of my room and thinking nothing of it, as if I were just some dude who could wear a different pair of shoes every day of the week. Unlike most people, figuring out my outfit for the day started with the shoes and worked its way up. This eventually led to another passion – but that’s a different story.

As far as sneaker culture goes, Air Jordans set the groundwork for what we know today and has become the benchmark of what every company strives for. Every Saturday Nike releases a new pair of Jordans to retail stores across North America and every Saturday these shoes would eventually sell out. Sometimes it would take days for the sneakers to sell out and other times it could take less than an hour. Being able to push this much product at such a rate is a clear sign of why Nike holds such a big piece of the market share in its industry. So how do marketers capitalize on such a product? The answer is in the name derived from the man himself and built from the exact specifications of the best NBA player to ever play the game. Now I’m no basketball aficionado but when someone asks me who the greatest basketball player of all time is I instantly think of Michael Jordan. I also didn’t grow up in his era but I can only imagine what its like seeing your idol breaking records in a pair of sneakers that the world has never seen before.

Selling off of hype is certainly one way to get product off of shelves and the hype is built up in many ways. It could be derived from the limited quantities being produced, the celebrity co-sign, or the even just the stories behind the shoe.

At this time marketing the sneakers were much simpler because the sneaker culture was much more niche. Marketers would attach the sneakers to an athlete and watch the fans follow. Lets fast forward to today, hopping off of their 30th model of the shoe, Air Jordans are still releasing and still selling every Saturday.

air yeezys

Air Yeezy 2 Collection

Nowadays its not just the athletes who play their roles as influencers. Brands have reached out to all artists and other public figures to drive sales and increase brand presence. There are a ton of influencers out there who are co-signed to a lot of different brands but the most influential is undoubtedly Kanye West. While he was signed with Nike he helped design the Nike Air Yeezy 1 and 2 that literally skyrocketed the brand to even higher heights. But it wasn’t until the period around Watch the Throne, where Kanye shook the sneaker world with the Air Yeezy 2 (and his music), that I started to realize the momentum that sneakers had taken. It was the sneaker that bested all other sneakers with its luxe materials including snakeskin, glow in the dark soles, and gold aglets. At this time sneaker culture and everything associated with it took an unprecedented leap.

Overlooking all the drama, Kanye West is now signed with Adidas and is still creating sneakers. His most recent and sought after creations include the Yeezy 750 and 350 Boost which are made with a taste of luxury via its premium suedes and designer cues. Along with other artists and designers such as Pharrell, Pusha T, Raf Simons, and Rick Owens, he is credited to increasing the presence of the brand in North America and aiding with the jump in sales.

Kanye with fans

Kanye with fans during a Yeezy release

Remember when I said that hype is built up in many ways? Well these factors can actually be marketed together to create the pinnacle of consumer desire. As polarizing as he is, Kanye West has grown to play such a big part in sneaker culture because he is an influencer who brings ground-breaking levels of hype. His sneakers are highly limited and highly coveted in the market and not only does he attract new adopters to the community but he also brings his vast fan following of his music. There is something about owning a limited sneaker designed by one of the most influential people of our time that makes it so sought after. Sneakers are now becoming an extension of status and are being marketed to the masses as essential. Companies noticed this early on and have been capitalizing on it ever since.

A second year student in International Business at Humber College, Martin Fortunato has got a knack for fashion, sports, and pop culture. With ambitions to work in international trade, Martin is planning ahead and hopes to run his own clothing boutique. You can follow Martin here on Instagram