Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Adidas makes return to relevance

(Official Adidas Facebook Page)

During my short-lived soccer career, I remember one thing clearly from my bench warming status in the third grade and that’s the cool-kid brand Adidas. Shuffling across torn up turf, Adidas used to be the “it” shoe. Everyone wore black and white indoor soccer cleats, both on and off the field, because they had a classic coolness that seemed appropriate for every occasion.

Then something changed. Years passed, and Adidas became a distant memory. Still present in the sports world, but undisputedly removed from fashion. The Adidas stripes were left in the dust behind the “just do it” motto of Nike. Brands like Nike, Puma and Under Armour remained unwaveringly mainstream.

But competition in the marketing world can bring about constant shifts in popularity when brands are neck and neck. Slowly but surely, the Adidas Superstar originals began to rival the trend of white high tops while the deconstructed look of Stan Smiths resurfaced. Then, it felt like new and classic designs of the NMDs, Tubular Novas, Ultra Boosts, AlphaBounces and—last but not least—the celebrity endorsed Yeezys, were popping up everywhere.

I’m not an athletic person, but Adidas is back on my radar.

The influx of sleek new designs, resurfacing originals and celebrity endorsements was a result of Paul Gaudio’s quest for a brand transformation. Gaudio is Adidas’s creative director and his goal was to reestablish what it meant to wear Adidas and create a narrative in which this meaning made sense. He essentially wanted to repurpose the brand to fit the changing world of sneaker culture.

According to Reggie Ugwu’s Buzzfeed article “The Man Who Made Adidas Cool Again,” Gaudio accomplished and succeeded his goal with gusto.

According to an analysis done by SportsOneSource, “Adidas’s sales in North America have jumped by 20 percent or more compared with the same period last year, helping it to overtake Under Armour and reclaim its No. 2 position in the U.S. after more than a year in third.”

In an effort to freshen an expiring brand, Gaudio not only returned to relevancy, but he led Adidas to surpass its competitors in both stylishness and feasibility.

“Two years after pulling itself back from the brink of irrelevance, Adidas looks, acts and earns like a different company,” Ugwu wrote.

Gaudio said in the article “the culture of sport is so pervasive that everybody wants to be a part of it in some way or another … the product has to be relevant whether you play or you just like the way it looks and feels.”

Gaudio’s statement plays into the ever popular trend of athleisure. By opening up the brand to incorporate both athletes and comfortable footwear enthusiasts, the market gives itself room to keep growing. And as the market grows, the popularity of the product grows alongside it.

I feel like it’s particularly important to encompass the world of athleisure in marketing sneakers because it incorporates a whole world of situations where Adidas will continue to be relevant. Going to the gym? Grab your NMDs. Going to dinner and movie? Grab your Stan Smiths. Gaudio and his creative team make it difficult to ignore Adidas.

Despite it seeming like no slogan will be as punchy as “just do it,” Adidas took the mainstream footwear world by storm by capturing the effortless cool of sleek lines and neutral colors. It pivoted a sinking ship of early 2000s soccer players into the cool-kid brand involved in a million-dollar collaboration with Kanye West. By putting that celebrity face to the brand, Adidas skyrocketed on social media and street style outlets, hitting younger audiences with advertising disguised as a simple mirror selfie.

It felt like overnight fashion bloggers, fitness enthusiasts and socialites alike were scooping up some version of Adidas’s new look. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I succumbed to the trend.

According to Marketing Week Magazine, Herbert Hainer, Adidas chief executive, has since spoken out about the brand’s success. “The collaboration with Kanye has elevated our brand perception in the U.S. and beyond,” he said. “It has really set the stage for strong double digit growth.”

Gina Lopez can be reached at gmlopez@umass.edu.

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