For Nike, Is the Worst Over?

This is the last Week Ahead newsletter for 2022. We will resume publishing in January.

The latest clash between the two giants of sportswear, Nike, which sponsors the French team, and Adidas, which provides outfits for the opponents, will also be on record when France faces Argentina in Sunday’s World Cup final. As with any famous football match, there’s even some drama behind the clash of logos — Argentinian star Lionel Messi may have played in the final World Cup of his career, 2017. A longtime Nike ambassador before signing a lifetime deal with Adidas on .

Off the pitch these days, the Nike-Adidas rivalry looks more like Spain’s big 7-0 victory over Costa Rica early in the tournament. Even before the Yeezy problem, Adidas struggled to connect with consumers (a BoF Insights survey of Gen Z shoppers found that 22% ranked Nike as one of their three favorite brands). (2015), which was twice the share of Adidas).

Nike had an ugly moment with its celebrity ambassador this fall when NBA star Kyrie Irving shared a link to a movie promoting an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. But the athlete’s now-canceled sneaker line wasn’t as important to Adidas as he was to Yeezy.

Still, Nike had to contend with some legacy issues: ordering excess inventory for 2022 and seeing sales in China slump due to China’s strict Covid policies. analysts say the worst may be over. Nike stores were busy on Black Friday as they heavily discounted excess inventory. And China is slowly emerging from its coronavirus-free isolation.

Both issues could still drag down Nike’s sales and profit margins next year, as the company’s range of overstock that took the market by surprise in September could do so again. Indigenous activewear brands are gaining momentum during the pandemic. Adidas has hired a new CEO, Puma’s Björn Gulden, to chart the company’s post-Yeezy path.

However, it is not hard to imagine that it will return to its original state in 2023. Nike’s strong brand automatically gets a head start when testing new markets and sales channels, whether it’s the web3 platform or the first Jordan-branded store.

Other Notes of the Week


France to face Argentina in World Cup final


Holiday sales results and final forecasts should start trickling in from retailers and analytics firms this week.


Swiss watch industry reports November exports

Nike Q2 Results

Eurozone Consumer Confidence Index


Christmas Eve

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