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IJBER

Volume 1, Issue 1

(January, 2013)

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A Journal of

INTERNATIONAL BRAND ANALYSIS OF NIKE, ADIDAS AND PUMA: A DECADE OF GLORY Syed Fida Hussain Shah Assistant Professor COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad. E-mail: fida@ciit.net.pk Tahira Nazir Assistant Professor COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Wah. E-mail: tahiraasifpk@hotmail.com Khalid Zaman (corresponding author) Assistant Professor, Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad. E-mail: khalidzaman@ciit.net.pk

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Abstract
Brand image is an important consideration for any of the firm or company operating in hyper competitive business environment. In this study, brands chosen for comparison are Nike, Adidas and Puma with respect to the actions and strategies adopted by them in order to enhance and strengthen their brand image. These are the top 3 sporting brands of the world. Nike is at 26th position; Adidas is at 62nd while Puma has just entered at 97th position in top 100 brands ranking list published in Year 2009 as best global brands by inter brand dot com. Nike and Adidas are in the world's top 100 brands list for last so many years. All of these three brands are growing brands and consistently moving upward in that list. As per the year 2009 figures published by interbrand.com and other brand rating agencies/bodies, the brand values of Nike, Adidas and Puma are $13,179 millions, $5,397 millions and $3,154 millions respectively. This study has identified the key steps and strategies adopted by the decision makers of these brands which resulted in the strong brand image for them. Moreover, those areas were also identified which require the improvement particularly by comparing Puma with Nike and Adidas. Keywords: International brands; Nike; Adidas; Puma; Marketing.

1. Introduction
Brand Image for any brand is built by many different factors which includes brand awareness, brand associations, brand loyalty, perceived quality and so on. All of these factors mainly depend upon the activities with respect to integrated marketing communication i.e. brand message, brand ambassadors, sponsorships, partnerships, brand relationships, brand communities, brand extensions etc. Nike, Adidas and Puma have been examined considering these aspects and various strategies adopted by them to enhance their brand image. Schmitt (1999) has explained the marketing and branding as a delightful experience of the consumers and liked it with the customer satisfaction. Keller (1993) has associated it with the perceptions of the consumers regarding that brand such that it must be reflected by the associations of the customers with that brand through his memories. Aaker (1996) explained these associations and linked it to any aspect which can connect that brand with the memories of the consumers. Brand Image is very much related to the Brand Awareness and Brand Message must be communicated to create Brand Awareness. Brand Ambassadors play a vital role in communicating the Brand Messages. Kotler (1991) has explained the different promotional strategies and highlighted the recognition of Brand image in different elements of marketing mix. Successful transmission of brand message is directly proportional to the Brand Awareness. Thus Integrated marketing Communication is at the heart of the efforts or steps contributing towards the strong Brand image. Drumwright (1996) has identified that the social dimensions have become a part of the promotions and marketing campaigns of the current era. Benezra (1996) has elaborated International center of Science Education and Academic Research for Scholars www.isearchscholars.com 63

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the corporate social responsibility and highlighted its demand from the consumers perspective. Jundong Hou (2008) has explained the importance of Cause-related marketing (CRM) for the business and how the companies have identified its importance in terms of strategic social alliances. He further added that now-a-days, Cause-related marketing is widely used for the promotion of the companys business. Adidas was the Official Sponsor for the Beijing 2008 Olympics held in China. Importance of China as an Industrial Hub for business entities is obvious and it is very large consumer market for Sporting goods. Adidas Sponsored $80 million for this mega event and opened 2 stores in one day on the average. For Nike China is the second largest market after United States. Nike encountered the Adidas Promotional step by sponsoring 22 out of 28 Chinese federations participating in the Olympics and Liu Xiang who is one of the top Chinese athlete (hurdler) represented Nike by wearing the trade mark of swoosh. In Beijing Nike had invested in Dong Dan Park to establish more serious and strong community links. Puma has sponsored 16 teams in that Olympics.

2. Discussions
Nike, Adidas and Puma all the three brands have very well organized their marketing programs through all aspects of Integrated marketing communication and leveraged their brand image through contracts with athletes, sponsorships/partnerships with teams and players of international repute in the field of football, athletics, golf, cycling, sailing etc., and sponsoring mega international events. Nike and Adidas gear up for Olympic shoe wars This was the news of New York Times published on October 4, 2007. That was a war for Beijing 2008 Olympics. Nike and Adidas are present in China for decades. Usain bolt (Contractual Athlete represented Puma) got 3 gold medals and made 3 world records of being The fastest man in the world in 100 meters race. This was a real opportunity for Puma to communicate its brand message as criticised by Wall Street Journal to go for massive print ads, but Puma did not communicate it through TV Commercials in big markets like China, Los Angeles and Jamaica. As stated officially by Adidas that The deal with Adidas will see the sportswear company receive marketing and licensing rights to London 2012, providing kit for the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association in Vancouver 2010 and London 2012. In addition, during the Games in 2012, Adidas will provide sportswear to Games Officials, London 2012 staff and volunteers. Football is one of the very popular games of the world and Football World Cup 2010 and Football 2014 FIFA World cup (Ghana) are the attractive and important events in terms of strengthening the Brand Image for any Sporting Brand. Adidas has extended its sponsorship agreement with FIFA for the World Cup soccer tournaments in 2010 and 2014 in a deal worth $351 million. Adidas will get priority access to TV and stadium advertising at the two events. (FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, 2005). These are the steps which strengthened the Brand Image for Adidas and took it from the position of 70(2008) to 62(2009) in the top 100 global brands list, while Nike moved from 29th (2008) to 26th (2009) position in that list.

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Adidas has used for brand awareness the platform of In game Advertising through Massive and Microsoft Advertising Gaming Solutions transforming the real world advertisements into the virtual based video games which built a strong influence on younger males between the age of 13 and 34 years (nostalgia). Results were achieved in terms of 14% increase in brand rating and 90% increase in brand message recall. Sponsorship for FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011 is open for all and Puma in particular to beat Adidas. Adidas is tier one partner and sponsor for the coming London 2012 Olympics. Nike and Puma are not the Official Sponsor for the London 2012 Olympics event, which would be remembered as one of the important Sporting Event of the World. The officials and staff of 2012 Olympics wearing Adidas Sportswear during Inaugural and Closing ceremonies will always leave Adidas in the brains of the Millions of the people watching these ceremonies. Nike has encountered this by Run London 2012 and Puma as Founding Partner and Official Sponsor of Women's Professional Soccer. Nike extended sponsorships for US Olympic and Para Olympic teams. Adidas has provided the Official Match Ball containing Logo of the Adidas (Brand Recall) for FIFA World Cup 2010 (South Africa). Nike is sponsoring 10 teams (Brand Communities) playing in the finals of this world cup, Puma extended its contract of Sponsoring Kits to the Black Stars who already won 4 times the African Cup of Nations. In the 2006 FIFA world cup held in Germany, Puma has sponsored 12 out of 32 national teams. Good move by Puma but Adidas has sponsored the whole event by providing the match ball and Kits for the FIFA Officials besides the sponsorship of 12 teams (Brand Communities) playing in the finals for 2010 FIFA world cup. Labels carrying the slogan 'Cotton Made in Africa' underlying special ecological and social aspects of this pilot projects have served a great value for PUMA in building its Brand Relationships through the use of Brand Loyalty from the Local people. PUMA City is the retail space with innovative collection and PUMA sailing Crew with dancing floor and bar. PUMA has adopted very strong advertising campaigns and its brand message is communicated through its brand ambassadors (Well renowned celebrities and Athletes Osain Bolt in particular wearing PUMA Sportswear). Commercials with Osain Bolt Fastest man in the world who has made the world record as a sprinter in 100 meters race in Beijing Olympics in just 9.69 seconds representing PUMA are very effective. PUMA is steadily moving ahead with a clear vision as narrated by its Chairman and Chief Executive that Through the acquisition of Cobra Golf, we reinforce PUMAs commitment to our sports performance business by strengthening our growing and successful Golf category, (Jochen Zeitz, CEO PUMA, 2010) . Cobra Golf has a history of innovative performance products fused with an edge and is therefore a perfect fit for PUMA, reinforcing our overall mission of becoming the most desirable Sport lifestyle company. PUMA 'Peace Ball' created on the philosophy of Peace in South Africa addressing to the problem of attacking immigrants from other African Countries. PUMA realised the importance of Cause Related Marketing (CRM). PUMA Peace, PUMA Safe, International center of Science Education and Academic Research for Scholars www.isearchscholars.com 65

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PUMA Creative and PUMA Vision are examples of CRM. Partnership between PUMA and UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) to support 2010 as the International year of Biodiversity. PUMA has participated in VOLVO Ocean Race world racing competition by entering its own boat into sailing category (Brand Extension). PUMA's Partnership with Ferrari and Michael Schumacher establishes association of the customers with the PUMA brand. PUMA's 2010 'LOL' scholarship program is contributing towards the society their association/attachment providing one year of training. PUMA has focussed on teenagers (nostalgia) and PUMA has become as much fashion brand (Brand personality) as it is a Sports brand. 3. Recommendations: Recommendations for the Puma in order to strengthen its brand image further include the revision of strategies to be the main partner/sponsor of the Mega Events like Olympics and Football World cups etc. besides other integrated Marketing Communication efforts. Brand Message is required to be communicated all around and these forums will help the Puma in creating Brand Awareness which ultimately results in strong brand image for Puma and help Puma in achieving its targets in all areas e.g. sale, market share and enhanced profits.

References
Aaker, D. (1996), Building Strong Brands, Free Press, New York, NY. Aaker, D.A. and Keller, K.L. (1990), Consumer evaluations of brand extensions, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 54 No. 1, pp. 27-41. Benezra, K. (1996), Cause and effects marketing, Brandweek, Vol. 37, 22 April, pp. 38-41. Berk Ataman (2003), A note on the effect of brand image on sales, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 237-250, Drumwright, M.E. (1996), Company advertising with a social dimension: the role of noneconomic criteria, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 60 No. 10, pp. 71-87. Jundong Hou, Lanying Du and Jianfeng Li (2008), Causes attributes influencing consumers purchasing intention: empirical evidence from China, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics Vol. 20 No. 4, 2008pp. 363-38. Keller, K.L. (1993), ``Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity'', Journal of Marketing, Vol. 57, January, pp. 1-22. Kotler, P. (1991), Marketing Management (7th ed.), Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Schmitt, B. (1999), Experimental marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 15 No. 1-3, pp. 53-67. International center of Science Education and Academic Research for Scholars www.isearchscholars.com 66