Adidas is planning its biggest-ever advertising campaign next year as it fights back against rival Nike.
The world's second-largest sportswear maker has admitted that it needs to invest more in its brands to catch up with market leader Nike, after losing ground in developed markets. Herbert Hainer, the chief executive of the German company, promised the "most ambitious" brand campaign in the company's history for 2015.
"It is with disappointment that after such a great summer of sport, I have to report that our group has not been able to meet the high expectations we laid out," he said. "We take full responsibility to rectify our shortfalls swiftly." Hainer said Adidas would lift its marketing budget from 13% to 14% of sales in 2015, raising it by up to €200m (£159m).
Adidas on Thursday cut its profit margin outlook for this year after a 13% slide in operating profits to €220m in the second quarter. It took a hit from volatile emerging markets currencies, in particular the weaker Russian ruble, coupled with disappointing golf sales. It plans to restructure its golf arm, TaylorMade, at which sales fell by 18%, but Hainer refused to give details on job cuts.
The company already lowered its sales and profit estimates last week despite receiving a boost from the World Cup in Brazil, the advent of which is expected to lead to record sales of €2bn in football products – from replica shirts to footballs. Adidas sold more than 14m of the official World cup “Brazuca” balls and more than 8m football jerseys. It kitted out nine teams, including champions Germany, Argentina and Colombia.
Adidas recently won a 10-year contract to be Manchester United’s kit sponsor for a record-breaking minimum guarantee of £750m. The deal will kick in at the start of the 2015-16 season, ending Nike's 13-year relationship with the club.