Adidas names brand chief to take up battle with Nike

FRANKFURT Wed Jan 8, 2014 11:21am EST

A woman walks past an Adidas shop at a shopping district in Beijing March 25, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

A woman walks past an Adidas shop at a shopping district in Beijing March 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Sportswear maker Adidas (ADSGn.DE) named Eric Liedtke as its global head of brands on Wednesday, bringing a younger manager to its executive board as it battles to regain ground lost to Nike (NKE.N) last year.

The German group, which lost market share in North America and Europe to its bigger U.S. rival in 2013, said that 47-year-old Liedtke will replace Erich Stamminger, 56, on its five-member executive board on March 6.

Stamminger, who has been with Adidas for 30 years, had decided not to renew his contract for personal reasons, the company said.

American Liedtke is currently senior vice-president of Adidas Sport Performance, the division offering high-tech products for amateur and professional sports enthusiasts, and was instrumental in the development of the Boost running shoe launched in February last year.

Adidas estimates that sales of shoes featuring the Boost cushioning technology could reach 15 million pairs in 2015.

"We think this is a natural promotion and consistent with the success Liedtke has more recently brought to bear via the Boost campaign, among others," Berenberg Bank analyst John Guy said.

The first big test for Liedtke in his new role is likely to be the marketing battleground of this year's soccer World Cup finals in Brazil, where Adidas aims to pull out all the stops to make its presence felt.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by David Goodman)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
bill1212 wrote:
If a person can’t tell Adidas is a much higher quality shoe than Nike, they need help! Nike is made for looks, ask a physical therapist or podiatrist!

Jan 08, 2014 12:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bill1212 wrote:
If a person can’t tell Adidas is a much higher quality shoe than Nike, they need help! Nike is made for looks, ask a physical therapist or podiatrist!

Jan 08, 2014 12:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.