Adidas is ditching its golf clubs — did you know it owned Adams and TaylorMade? — but it’ll still make comfy golf kicks and shirts for Sergio Garcia, et al. The apparel and shoe business has been very good to Adidas, the German company best known in the states for Stan Smiths, soccer shoes, a killer Run DMC cut, and for making Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Superstars back in the day. Oh yeah, and for Kanye’s big-deal Yeezy Boost — when the hip-hop icon isn’t cheating on the three stripes with his Vans.
In the US, basketball is the king of the shoe game. Can you name the cleats NFL quarterback Tom Brady wears? But Nike and LeBron James? Steph Curry and Under Armour? This stuff people know. Who’s an Adidas athlete? James Harden signed last summer — proving Adidas are no good for defense. But fame can be misleading, even with consumer brands. If you ask on the street who’s hot, people will name Nike or Under Armour before Adidas 90% of the time. Unless you’re on Wall Street, that is: Adidas shares are up 30% in the first four months of the year. Nike and Under Armour shares are both down.