On a more serious note, Adidas is taking matters into its own hands in the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team equal pay controversy we noted earlier – they recently announced that all Adidas-sponsored players on the team that wins the Women’s World Cup this year will receive (courtesy of Adidas) the same bonuses as the men.
Adidas’ head of global brands Eric Liedtke said the move was designed to “inspire and enable the next generation of female athletes.”1
A big commitment, but the goodwill payout should be huge. This is an example of #sponsorjacking that actually feels genuine and positions Adidas as a brand that people all over the world can be excited to support. It develops a cachet around Adidas as a brand progressively encouraging greater female visibility in sports – and we’ve seen with many other major brands that taking a socially conscious stand is starting to be not only a PR bonus but a requirement.
This is Adidas’ high-profile contribution to that growing expectation. And it should only help them as they continue to overtake big competitors like Under Armour and Nike even in North America, their home turf. Adidas’ first quarter sales from 2017 to 2018 grew 21%.2
I say, that’s how it’s done. I’ll be rooting for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and for Adidas all the way.
- Nair, Rohith. “Adidas Will Pay Women’s Soccer Players the Same Bonuses as Male Players for Winning the World Cup.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 9 Mar. 2019, www.businessinsider.com/adidas-to-pay-womens-soccer-players-same-bonuses-as-men-for-world-cup-2019-3.
- Petrof, Alanna. “Adidas Is Still Crushing Nike and Under Armour in America.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network, 3 May 2018, money.cnn.com/2018/05/03/investing/adidas-us-north-america-sales-nike-under-armour/index.html.