By Robert Musantry,
Sports Business Writer
Adidas has officially passed the Jordan brand for the second spot on the top selling sneakers list for the United States, now only behind Nike. This sudden surge surprised many, as Adidas has struggled compared to other top companies in recent years. Now, experts say that Adidas sales have seen quite some growth during 2017. According to the NPD Group, a market-research firm, Adidas has held a 11.3% share of the US Market through August of this year. Comparatively, Adidas had only a 6.6% share over the same period in 2016, just one year ago.
Nike, who still own the top spot, have actually fallen in terms of market share, from 39% at this point last year to just 37% this year. Jordan, although they were surpassed by Adidas, have actually seen some growth as well, with a slight increase from 9.4% to 9.5%. Matt Powell, an NPD sports industry analyst, said that he has “never seen a brand in the sneaker industry grow this fast.”
This period of rapid growth can be attributed to many things, among them Adidas’ new line of running shoes, the UltraBoost. These shoes were introduced as the “ultimate running shoe” and have also become popular for those concerned with the fashion side of sneakers. The sportswear industry has seen a trend towards more casual wear, and Adidas has adapted to this shift better than competitors like Nike.
Another trend has been the drop in sales of basketball sneakers, which, according to Yahoo Finance, have dropped 22% as a category in 2017. Once again, Adidas has been able to adapt to change, having many other products that are separate from their basketball sneakers, such as their Originals, Boost, and NMD shoe lines, their large selection of clothing, and even some accessories like hats, sunglasses, and phone cases.
Finally, many people have attributed the return of Adidas to their high-profile partnership with Kanye West. After leaving his partnership with Nike in 2013, West released his first Adidas shoe in 2015. The Yeezy Boost has since become a top selling line for Adidas, and has brought the brand major international recognition.
However, Powell has warned against holding West accountable for the growth, tweeting that Adidas actually had negative sales for two years after signing a deal with West.
Regardless of how much West has impacted the brand’s sales, the final result has been Adidas regaining their hold on the second spot and company shares growing an impressive 31.3% over the year. This spot may be temporary however, as Adidas’ quick rise could be replicated by a competitor, and their market share may shrink once again. But as of now, they sit only behind Nike in the United States.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 26th print edition.
Contact Robert at