Annual Report 2023


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Basketball shirt in a motion blur (Photo)

Focus Areas

2023 was a transition year for adidas. The appointment of Bjørn Gulden as new CEO in January paved the way for a successful restart of the company. We used 2023 to significantly reduce our inventories, leverage existing franchises, work on future products, improve the way we work, build stronger partnerships, and lay the foundation for a better 2024 and a successful 2025 and 2026.

To achieve this goal, we have started to optimize our business model:

  • Speed and agility: Fast-changing trends and consumer demands require flexibility and agility. We empowered our people to accelerate decision-making and eliminated complicated processes to react quickly. The rapid scaling of our Terrace range is a standout example. We will continue to prioritize speed and agility to react faster to the needs of our consumers and the feedback from our retail partners.
  • DTC and wholesale: We have been transitioning away from a narrow focus on our direct-to-consumer business to a service-oriented model toward our retail partners. By listening closely to their feedback and acting on it, we want to be a trusted partner for them. Improving the sell-through of our product will be key to regaining shelf space. And while wholesale is crucial for our future success, we will of course keep investing in our own retail and our e-commerce presence. It is all about maintaining a healthy balance between our channels to win with the consumer.
  • Global, regional, local: We need to be where our consumers are. With more local trends emerging, the need for local relevance is ever increasing. Instead of a centrally defined one-size-fits-all approach, we are empowering our markets to create the product, storytelling and business models they need to be successful. Only by providing our markets with decision-making autonomy can we meet the expectations of our customers and the needs of the consumer.
  • Brand heat: We are proud to produce groundbreaking innovation in sports and some of the most sought-after product in lifestyle. This outstanding product is amplified by brand heat – and vice versa. Brand heat is the sum of everything we do. It comprises athletes, teams, federations, celebrities, street culture and more. To drive brand desire, we need to be as close as possible to the consumer in the markets and ensure that we invest where we generate the most brand heat. In 2023, adidas created new brand narratives and will evolve these messages in 2024 and beyond. By putting the joy of sport and its power as a great unifier at the center, we want to counter an atmosphere of pressure and stress, especially for our younger consumers.

In addition, we have been focusing on five pillars to build the foundation for a stronger adidas:

  • People: We believe that our people are the key to the company’s success. We focus on creating a culture that strengthens their performance, well-being, and personal development, as this will have a significant impact on brand desire, consumer and customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, financial performance.
  • Product: Product is king and adidas has an unrivaled archive of Performance and Lifestyle product. We innovate in materials, designs, and technologies to constantly bring exciting new products and groundbreaking innovations to the market. This allows us to create trends and quickly build on existing ones. As part of this, we leverage our partnerships with athletes, designers and celebrities.
  • Consumers: Our consumers are at the heart of everything we do. We focus on what matters to them, creating the product they want, offering the service they expect, and providing the experience they need.
  • Retail partners: We need to be the best service partner for retailers. Multi-branded environments reach consumers at scale, and we can leverage our strong product pipeline through efficient distribution.
  • Athletes: We are here for our athletes, and not the other way around. For almost 75 years, we have been innovating for sports and striving to create only the best for the athlete. This is our DNA and our heritage. It is where we come from and where we need to be. Whether the crowd watching is large or small, we are here for all athletes.

We used 2023 to build the foundation for a successful future. Our five pillars for 2023 are enduring and will continue to guide us going forward.

Lifestyle category
Under the ‘Lifestyle’ category, we subsume all footwear, apparel, and ‘accessories and gear’ products that are born from sport and worn for style. ‘adidas Originals,’ which is inspired by sport and worn on the street, is at the heart of the ‘Lifestyle’ category.
Performance category
Under the ‘Performance’ category, we subsume all footwear, apparel, and ‘accessories and gear’ products that are of a more technical nature, built for sport and worn for sport. These are, among others, products from our most important sport categories: Football, Training, Running, and Outdoor.
This Group Management Report is a combined management report. It contains the Group Management Report of the adidas Group and the Management Report of adidas AG.
The Declaration on Corporate Governance is part of the Annual Report.
Declaration on Corporate Governance