The Adidas mission statement may have evolved several times in the company’s 70+ year history, but its emphasis on competition and striving to be the best has remained relatively unchanged.
In 2021, the brand’s current statement reads:
“The Adidas Group strives to be the global leader in the sporting goods industry with brands built on a passion for sports and a sporting lifestyle. We are committed to continuously strengthening our brands and products to improve our competitive position.”
This message sounds precisely on point for a brand that has carved out an enviable reputation as the go-to sporting brand for professional athletes and casual fashion fans.
But what exactly does it mean? And why did Adidas choose to focus on products and brands rather than some of the loftier, aspiration goals some companies work into their mission and values statements.
We’ll answer those questions, and more, in this complete analysis of the Adidas mission statement.
|Founded:||August 18th, 1949|
|Industry:||Apparel and footwear|
|Market cap:||69.54B (as of June 2021)|
Adidas Mission Statement – In-Depth Analysis
There are some brands (like Chipotle, for example) that like to keep their mission statement short and sweet.
Adidas is not one of those brands. Their statement runs for two sentences packed full of information about the company’s aims and objectives.
At first, that could make their statement seem a little cluttered or overwhelming. Look a little closer, however, and what you’ll find is that they’re really only talking about three things which, for the sake of this mission statement analysis, I’ll refer to as The 3 Ps.
Let’s look at each one in turn.
“The Adidas Group strives to be the global leader in the sporting goods industry…”
Adidas isn’t messing around here. They’re not content to simply carve out a small yet profitable niche, and they’re certainly not happy to play second fiddle to the likes of Nike and Reebok.
No, they’re in it to win it and consistently strive to be the undisputed champions of the sporting goods market. Of course, it’s a worthwhile goal for any business to aspire to become leaders of their industry, no matter what that industry may be. With the world of sports, however, this idea of striving for a top market position takes on even greater significance.
This isn’t just a company that wants to make the most money and enjoy greater brand recognition than anyone else in the industry. This is a company that knows and understands competition in all its forms, a company that knows precisely the kind of business strategy needed to succeed—a company, in other words, who knows what it takes to win.
If you were an athlete of any kind, wouldn’t you want to choose sportswear or training shoes from a brand that takes competition seriously and who knows what it takes to take the first position in their industry much as you aim to take the first position on the medal podium or league table?
“We are committed to continuously …improv[ing] our competitive position.”
The Adidas mission statement wraps up with a simple but powerful line about continually improving their competitive position.
This isn’t just a nice way to wrap things up. It’s as important as anything else in this statement.
Because it reinforces this idea of relentlessly working hard to achieve success.
According to Statista, the brand generates:
- 19.8 billion euros (roughly 24.5 billion dollars) worldwide
- $13.67 billion USD in footwear sales
- 7.69 billion euros (9.312 billion USD).
That in itself would be enough for some brands to be content with, but not Adidas.
According to that same Statista report, the company has only:
- 6% share of the US sportswear market
- 10% share of the US sports footwear market
- Generate almost 10 billion dollars less per year than industry leader Nike.
So, while Nike remains the most valuable sports brand globally, that means Adidas has still got some work to do and, like any good athlete, is more than prepared to do it.
“…We are committed to continuously strengthening our brands and products…”
The first P, Position, outlines Adidas’ overall objective: To be the industry leader.
The second P, Products, outlines how they plan to achieve that objective – by focusing on their brands and products.
The mission statement mentions brands twice, first in relation to our third P (Passion) and then again here, where they talk about continually strengthening them to claim the biggest share of the market.
This is just as important. It shows that being an industry leader isn’t merely a vague goal for Adidas. It’s something they’ve strategically planned for and know how they’re going to achieve it.
Again, this links back to the sporting ethos – whether it’s a marathon runner striving for a new personal best, a boxer fighting for the world championship, or a soccer player with ambitions of scoring the match-winning goal, all athletes need to have a game plan, and this is theirs.
Yet, there’s more to it than that. By putting this focus on brands and products in their mission statement, the company is telling us that this is where they put their focus throughout their entire operation.
If a brand is creating products designed to put them at the forefront of their industry, then you better believe that they’re putting their all into making those products to the highest possible standards.
In other words, this is a somewhat subtle way of the brand talking about the premium quality of their shoes and apparel.
“…with brands built on a passion for sports and a sporting lifestyle.
The word ‘passion’ is only directly mentioned once in this mission statement, but it really does lie at the heart of everything Adidas is saying here.
This is a smart move.
Athletes and sports performers are passionate people. They have to be in order to win, or at least to do their very best.
Here, Adidas is saying that they not only understand that passion but share it. They’re also saying that while a passion for a particular sport may lead someone who plays that sport to strive for success, a similar passion for all sports drives Adidas towards business success.
Ultimately, this is what Adidas is pitching as their USP – what sets them apart from others in their industry is their passion.
Adidas Vision Statement
“To be the design leaders with a focus on getting the best out of the athletes with performance guaranteed products in the sports market globally.”
Adidas’ vision statement isn’t all that different from its mission statement.
This isn’t laziness. It’s deliberate.
Remember, this is a sporting brand all about striving for success.
To create a vision statement reinforcing ideas of performance, competition, and being the best is entirely on message.
Adidas Core Values
The Adidas brand lists its values as:
Sticking very much with the sports theme, the brand goes onto say:
“Unlike sport, society’s rules are not always written down. We discover them by engaging with the people that our group touches.”
This ethos runs throughout everything that the company does.
In terms of performance, it means speaking to athletes and casual sportswear fans about what matters to them.
It means learning, growing, and evolving to create a safe, diverse workspace.
In terms of integrity, it means setting high workplace standards for suppliers and maintaining equally high standards for their own employees.
Other Businesses With Similar Values
Adidas isn’t the only brand channeling its industry and audience into its mission and values. The following brands have a similar outlook to the famous German sportswear brand:
- Reebok – Originally founded in Bolton, England, Reebok is now an Adidas-owned brand, so it’s not surprising that their mission and values are similar, focussing on delivering inspiration, innovation, and experience as a means of becoming the world’s leading fitness brand.
- Under Armour – This rising sports brand lists its values as “love athletes, stand for equality, fight on together, create fearlessly, always connect, stay true, think beyond, and celebrate the wins” – all of which can be related to Adidas’ performance, passion, diversity, and integrity.
- Saucony – Saucony is a running shoe brand that values loyalty to the sport of running, delivering good performance, good health, and good communities, all while striving to win first place position in their market.
- A good mission statement should outline the company’s objective, how they’re going to achieve it, and what sets them apart.
- Adidas achieve this with their 3 Ps – Position (objective), Products (how they’ll achieve it), and passion (what sets them apart)
- Mission statements are particularly effective when the language used reflects the industry and/or target audience.
- Adidas achieves this with language denoting competition, striving to be the best, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What is the Adidas Originals statement?
Answer: Adidas Originals is Adidas’ lifestyle brand. Their statement is to simply “Celebrate Originality.”
Question: What do the 3 Stripes of Adidas Mean?
Answer: The famous Adidas three-stripe design was originally said to represent the three continents where their shoes were sold – Europe, North America, and Asia.
Later, it also came to represent the diversity of its products and brands.
Question: What are the aims and objectives of Adidas?
Answer: Adidas outlined an “Own the Game” strategy in which they listed their aims and objectives as being to increase their eCommerce sales to € 9 billion, ensure 9 out of 10 products are sustainable, and increase revenues at a rate of between 8% and 10% p.a., all by 2025.
Question: What is the Adidas Slogan?
Answer: Adidas’ famous slogans are “Impossible is Nothing” and “Adidas is All in,” the former comes from a famous quote by legendary boxer Muhammad Ali while the latter denotes passion, intensity, and focus of top athletes.