Annual Report 2023


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Basketball shirt in a motion blur (Photo)

Global Brands

Global Brands oversees the innovation, design, development, and marketing of the company’s sports and lifestyle offerings. By constantly developing desirable products and providing inspiring experiences, the function strives to build a strong image as well as trust and loyalty with consumers to capitalize on growth opportunities in the sporting goods industry.

The adidas brand

The adidas brand has a long history and deep-rooted connection with sport. We believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives. This is our purpose, and we live it every day by expanding the limits of human possibilities, including and uniting people in sport and creating a more sustainable world. For us to continue to transcend genres and to remain one of the most recognized and iconic brands in the world, on and off the field of play, we need to drive and maintain our credibility in sport. This means delivering groundbreaking innovations to continuously deliver the best for the athlete, while also enabling a broader culture to be born from it. Therefore, we continue to sharpen the edges of adidas ‘Performance’ and ‘Lifestyle.’

For almost 75 years, we have been innovating for sports. Performance therefore represents the product built for our athletes, helping them to perform at their best inside the lines of the playing field. Performance products are built from sport and worn for sport. On the ‘Lifestyle’ side, adidas Originals is motivated by the collective memory of sports and represents brand classics and new visionary designs. The Trefoil, adidas Originals’ iconic signifier, celebrates products that connect to culture, leveraging our archive and expanding into new premium and luxury segments. Our latest addition, ‘Sportswear’, is built as an expansion from playing field to courtside. It is born from sport and worn for style. Sportswear provides everyday products that redefine comfort, versatility, and aesthetics. The first capsule collection was released in 2022, followed by the launch of a full product range across footwear, apparel, and accessories in February 2023.

Franchises as lighthouses for our brand

Footwear has the potential to drive consumer desire across product categories, the key lever for growing market share. Our archive, which is unrivaled in the industry, as well as cutting-edge technological breakthroughs and access to fundamental athlete insights provide plenty of opportunities to create newness in footwear and push industry boundaries. We set a priority on footwear franchises, which are our most iconic symbols of sport and culture and act as lighthouses for our brand. They represent the very best of adidas, influencing not only sport but the culture born from it, reimagining the notions of Performance and Lifestyle footwear while contributing to building our brand equity. Through uncompromised functionality, iconic design, and unique stories they are clearly targeted toward the consumer and have the potential to be iterated over time to preserve desirability. Their lifecycles are diligently managed to maintain consumer relevance and commercial longevity. Our footwear franchises include perennial bestsellers such as the Samba, Gazelle, Campus, Superstar, and Stan Smith. On the apparel side, adidas manages a portfolio of franchises including the Tiro Pant, MyShelter Jacket, and the Z.N.E. Hoodie. Above all, 2023 was the year of our Terrace range (Gazelle, Samba, and Spezial) with the Samba franchise declared ‘Shoe of the Year 2023’ by ‘Footwear News,’ one of the leading global footwear trade magazines. The halo effect of these models and other classics such as Campus, together with our latest Originals brand campaign, significantly increased our brand heat globally.

Shoe of the year 2023


Brand desirability fueled by innovation and athlete collaborations

Innovation is a key enabler for success in our industry and we are committed to investing in it. We are applying an innovative mindset to all aspects of our business in order to create tangible proof points of our credibility, elevate experiences, and push the boundaries in sustainability. In addition to leveraging product franchises, creating innovative concepts to meet the needs of athletes and consumers is a prerequisite to strengthening our market position and a premise to being the best sports brand in the world. We remain highly committed to maintaining a full and innovative concept pipeline to drive our credibility in performance and achieve what is best for the athlete.

We aim to bring new groundbreaking technologies and processes to life. Our key technology platforms Boost, Lightstrike, and Strung are proof points for our broader innovation approach and key enablers to define new successful athlete stories, through best-in-class product execution. We collaborate with athletes and consumers, universities, and innovative companies, as well as national and international governments and research organizations. We invest in manufacturing techniques and new technologies aiming to address deeply understood athlete challenges.

The launch of the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 is a testament to this approach. Throughout the development process, we gathered insights from elite athletes such as Peres Jepchirchir, Benson Kipruto, Tigist Assefa, and Amanal Petros. As a result, in September 2023, we were able to present the lightest racing shoe in our running footwear range to date: The Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 is 40% lighter than any other adidas racing shoe. The biggest success achieved with the shoe to date was winning the 2023 Berlin Marathon, where Tigist Assefa beat the world record by over two minutes and Amanal Petros set a new German record.

Innovative technologies and products

We believe developing industry-leading technologies, materials, and consumer experiences is an important aspect of being an innovative leader. We have a long heritage of innovation and strive to provide athletes with the best by creating high-performance, competitive products. In 2023, we continued to serve consumers with innovative technologies, materials, and sustainable concepts built into our products:

  • Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1: With a weight of 138 grams, this revolutionary road racer is 40% lighter than any other racing shoe adidas has ever created. Inspired by the same technology as the race-winning Adizero Adios Pro 3, the shoe also features a new forefoot rocker that has been lab-tested to improve running economy. With two major marathon victories and several new records since its launch, the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 is not only adidas’ lightest, but also fastest shoe ever.
  • Adizero Prime x Strung: Our first ever Adizero running shoe with a ’Strung’ upper. Strung is a textile innovation that transforms athlete data into a dynamic material tuned to the athlete’s needs. It enables mapping and programming of different fiber properties thread by thread. With a flexible and lightweight seamless cocoon feel around the foot, Strung helps optimize comfort and supports the athlete on long-distance runs.
  • 4DFWD 2: The shoe’s industry-first bowtie-shaped lattice midsole transforms vertical pressure into horizontal force. With every stride, the new adidas 4DFWD 2 midsole compresses forward, reducing braking forces and transforming the impact energy into forward motion. The result is a smooth ride with less stop-and-go pounding. With the 4DFWD 2, we have introduced a new Continental outsole that provides extra grip for runs in any weather condition. The shoe contains a new Primeknit+ and engineered mesh upper construction for an extra supportive and snug fit. Complemented by an integrated heel counter, Primeknit+ offers a sock-like fit, while areas of engineered mesh provide support exactly where runners need it most.
  • Agravic Speed Ultra: The Agravic Speed Ultra is a testament to pushing boundaries in the fast-growing, community-driven sport of trail running. Created alongside adidas Terrex professional trail runners over a two-year period, the innovation-packed silhouette is built to provide runners with ultimate speed in ultra-distance races. A prototype of the Agravic Speed Ultra has already proven itself on podiums, with the latest record being broken at the 2023 Western States 100-mile Endurance Run when Tom Evans won in 14 hours and 40 minutes. For consumers, the shoe will be available in spring 2024.
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 federation away kits: Partner to ten teams, including World Champion Spain, competing at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023, adidas unveiled federation away kits inspired by nature. While the designs celebrated each country’s scenery and diverse natural landscape, the jerseys are made from recycled polyester and feature the latest adidas fabric innovations, including HEAT.RDY and AEROREADY.
  • adidas by Stella McCartney x Arsenal Collection: adidas and Arsenal F.C. launched the next chapter of their collaboration with Stella McCartney with the revealing of the first away kit and travel range for Arsenal Women. The limited-edition range includes a gender-neutral game-day match jersey as well as off-pitch pieces for pre- and post-match travel. The away kit marks the first time the women’s team have worn a separate kit from the men’s team, while the latter competed in the gender-neutral jersey for their pre-match warm-up.
  • X Crazyfast Strung: The first football shoe to feature ‘Strung,’ a technology born from running and redefined for football. With each thread individually selected and data-mapped for a seamless lightweight cocoon around the foot, the Strung upper combines with the Speedframe and Aeroplate inlay from X Crazyfast to enable dynamic movement and touch at top speed.
  • Fussballliebe: Revealed in November 2023, ‘Fussballliebe’ is the name of the official match ball for UEFA EURO 2024. Meaning ‘love of football,’ it brings ‘Connected Ball Technology’ to the tournament for the first time. The ball features a 20-piece ‘Precisionshell’ panel shape, deboss grooves on the outer shell, as well as a ‘CTR-Core’ inside, which is designed for accuracy and supports fast, precise play with maximum shape and air retention.

Beyond innovative technologies, key products and collaborations of the 2023 business year include:

  • Fear of God Athletics: Together with Jerry Lorenzo and Fear of God, we officially launched ‘Fear of God Athletics’ at the end of 2023. The collection provides uncompromised inspiration authentically rooted in performance and the culture of sport. It offers a fresh perspective on luxury sportswear with strong influences from basketball culture – a modern wardrobe for the contemporary athlete.
  • adidas x Bugatti: Bugatti and adidas have come together to create a limited-edition football boot: the adidas X Crazyfast Bugatti. Produced in a run of only 99 pairs, the boots are engineered for speed and lightness, and finished with bespoke Bugatti design flourishes. The collection draws on the characteristics that have come to define Bugatti: not only engineered for speed but created with a ‘Form follows Performance’ design philosophy.
  • adidas x Moncler: The adidas Originals x Moncler collection revolves around the notion of exploration: a journey where the past becomes the future and mountain peaks are taken to city streets in a mix of luminous colors reminiscent of traffic lights – bright yellow, green, orange, and red, alongside other tones. The collection was launched at London Fashion Week in February, showcasing pieces that share the DNA of both brands – from lacquered nylon outerwear to Moncler-ized versions of adidas’ iconic Campus and NMD S1 silhouettes.
  • adidas x Wales Bonner: 2023 saw the continuation of our collaboration with British designer Grace Wales Bonner. Embracing a fusion of European and African influences, it seamlessly blends the rich heritage of adidas and Wales Bonner to create collections that celebrate the convergence of sportswear and tailoring. The collaboration has been especially instrumental during the incubation and activation phases of the Samba franchise.
  • adidas x Les Mills: In February 2023, adidas and Les Mills, an international leader in the fitness content and training industry, announced their partnership. While adidas training product is featured in all Les Mills content and the latest adidas training apparel, footwear, and accessories are worn by the global Les Mills athlete network, the partnership will also connect adiClub and Les Mills by offering immersive and personalized solutions to adiClub members. With women making up the majority of the trainers and participants in the workouts around the world, the partnership is also designed to help us build credibility with women.

Impactful and effective marketing investments

Our marketing investments are an additional important building block for creating brand desirability and winning the consumer. adidas is focused on creating inspirational and innovative concepts that drive consumer advocacy, build brand equity, and drive demand for our products. The company historically spends almost half of its marketing investment on partners, with the remainder spent on brand marketing activities such as digital, advertising, point-of-sale, and grassroots activations. In addition, the company continues its efforts to further consolidate and focus resources to create powerful brand statements that capture several categories in one narrative, amplified and orchestrated via an overarching media strategy with clear roles for the different activation levels of story and content. The ambition is to have a fully connected marketing funnel, from grabbing consumer attention at the top to driving consideration in the middle of the funnel when consumers are in the buying phase, down to conversion at the point of sale at the bottom of the funnel. To holistically address the entire marketing funnel, adidas is active in four dimensions:

  • Brand campaigns: the highest expression of the brand, which drives visibility, desire, and commercial demand by reinforcing our brand attitude with bold, relevant, and recent consumer-centric storytelling.
  • Brand moments: deliver a strong brand point of view through targeted sport and culture moments to amplify brand attitude and reinforce our purpose.
  • Category activation: strengthen sport and culture credibility by sharpening label and category propositions through product story, sport/culture moments, partner activation, hype drops, and commercial activation.
  • Commercial conversion: drive conversion and consistency at the point of sale (in-store and online) to support cross-category commercial partnerships and ‘evergreen’ key items through delivery of seasonal, modular toolkits.

From building awareness and brand heat all the way down to deliberate point-of-sale experiences, the 2023 brand marketing plan showcased a variety of activations at all levels of the marketing funnel:

  • Originals brand campaign: Since its introduction to the world over 50 years ago, adidas Originals’ Trefoil has been trading feet with everyone, from athletes to cultural pioneers. In 2023, adidas Originals paid homage to those that have continued to transport the brand to the forefront of culture with a new global campaign: ‘We Gave the World an Original. You Gave Us a Thousand Back.’ Headlined by three films and a selection of stills, each focusing on one of three timeless silhouettes from our archive – the Superstar, the Gazelle, and the Samba – the campaign tells the narrative of the Trefoil’s past, present, and future. The campaign was amplified globally through a major media strategy, representing the largest single investment for adidas Originals in 2023.
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign: Marking adidas’ most talked about Women’s World Cup campaign to date, the brand united its global family of football legends and advocates of the women’s game, such as David Beckham and Lionel Messi, to celebrate the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023. The campaign was dedicated to next-generation icons Alessia Russo, Lena Oberdorf, and Mary Fowler and looked to drive more global attention for the game and inspire young women and girls to follow in their role models’ footsteps.
  • Move for the Planet (‘MFTP’): ‘Move for the Planet’ builds on the foundation adidas created with ‘Run for the Oceans’ and is our most inclusive and impactful sustainability initiative to date. Its goal is to encourage the global sporting community to take action on sustainability by turning their sports and workouts into tangible impact for communities in need. As a result, over 173 million minutes of activity were tracked across countries in the adidas Running app, with adidas pledging to donate € 1 to its partner organization ‘Common Goal’ for every ten minutes of activity logged – up to € 1.5 million.
  • ’Running Needs Nothing But You’: The first brand campaign in 2023 celebrated how personal running is, showcasing that athletes run for all kinds of motivations and that they face different pressures and obstacles along the way. adidas wanted to remind runners that, whether they are a seasoned competitor or someone who needs a little encouragement to take their first step in running, it is not about living up to someone else’s expectations. As part of the campaign, adidas also launched ‘The Ridiculous Run,’ a campaign calling attention to the reality that many female runners face, such as safety concerns while running. It also highlighted the need for male education and allyship.
  • adidas Sportswear: In 2023, adidas revealed ‘Sportswear.’ The new line aims to elevate the wearer’s everyday look with a range of fits that use the latest performance technology to bring the same comfort and confidence to everyday wear as the Performance collections.

In terms of partners and athletes, while being conscious of overall marketing spend, we will continue to bring our products to the biggest stages in the world through:

  • Events with global reach: FIFA World Cup (men’s and women’s) and UEFA Champions League (men’s and women’s). Major marathons such as Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Mexico City, and Seoul.
  • High-profile teams: National teams of Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Mexico, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Sweden. Top clubs such as Arsenal F.C., F.C. Bayern Munich, Juventus Turin, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and A.S. Roma. In 2023, we also extended our partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS). Basketball: US-American universities such as Indiana University and University of Kansas. Running: Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) and French Athletics Federation (FFA). Multi sports: India cricket team, Dutch field hockey, and the New Zealand All Blacks.
  • High-profile individuals: Football stars Selma Bacha, Jude Bellingham, Linda Caicedo, Rachel Daly, Kadidiatou Diani, Paulo Dybala, Joelinton, Jürgen Klopp, Rafael Leão, Mapi León, Lionel Messi, Álvaro Morata, Manuel Neuer, Lena Oberdorf, Guro Reiten, Declan Rice, Trinity Rodman, Alessia Russo, Mo Salah, Son Heung-min, Marc-André ter Stegen, and Zinedine Zidane. Track and field athletes Anna Hall, Grant Holloway, Steven Gardiner, Noah Lyles, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, marathon runner Tigist Assefa, as well as triathlete Patrick Lange. Basketball stars Aliyah Boston, Zia Cooke, Gradey Dick, Anthony Edwards, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, and Candace Parker. American Football players Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy. Tennis players Karolína Muchová, Jessica Pegula, Elina Svitolina-Monfils, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Xinyu Wang, Caroline Wozniacki, and Alexander Zverev. Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin.
  • Cultural marketing partners: Anitta, Baby Monster, Bad Bunny, Grace Wales Bonner, Edison Chen, Caroline Daur, HoYeon Jung, Jennie Kim (Blackpink), Jerry Lorenzo, Léna Mahfouf (‘Léna Situations’), Deepika Padukone, Jay Park, Stormzy, Pusha T, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Sean Wotherspoon, and Dingyun Zhang.
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