Sportswear brands eyeing big games

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Sportswear companies such as Nike, Reebok and Adidas are betting big on a packed sporting calendar this year. The brands have lined up many launches and are aggressively marketing them.

Nike and Adidas are banking on football to pep up sales. Nike is introducing innovations in every football product, be it shoes, shin guards or balls. The brand which will also start retailing its cricket bats shortly sponsors kits of eight of the national teams playing the football world cup. Retail sale of team uniforms will be a key revenue driver for them.

Adidas will be launching 95 products of football including apparel, footwear and protective gear. This is apart from the IPL merchandise that the company routinely launches every year. Adidas will also launch campaigns right ahead of the soccer world cup. The brand supports 12 of the 32 national teams due to play in the football world cup.

Likewise Reebok, which has its stronghold in cricket, is eyeing big gains from IPL and the T-20 World Cup. The company will launch 320 new models of shoes this year, up from 180 last year. It has tied up with IPL franchisees to sell merchandise within IPL match venues. It is the apparel sponsor of the Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Superkings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

All three companies are looking at affordability to drive volumes. So, while Nike is launching affordable versions of its T-90 and mercurial Vapor SuperFly-II football shoes, Reebok will launch affordable soccer shoes for kids and adults in the price range Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,500. Adidas will also stock football shoes that start from Rs 1,899 and Rs 2,299 for kids and adults.

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