Clash of the titans: Adidas vs Nike

A well known catchphrase, ‘What is not measured is not managed’ comes to my mind when I hear of the term ‘marketing metrics’. The best metrics and practice needs to be found in order to measure market performance.  Intangible assets make up the highest part of the corporate value with brand being its largest intangible asset.  Brand awareness is a part of memory marketing metrics which is concerned with how easily a consumer can recall a brand and it generally precedes building brand equity.

Macdonald and Sharp (2000) conducted an experiment to examine the role that brand awareness plays in regards to the consumer choice process and the results showed that it played a dominant role in consumer preference. In addition to this, it is found that consumers aware of only one brand tends to choose the known brand even when its of a lower quality as compared to other brand. These factors make brand awareness among consumers as an effective technique in creating loyal customer base.   A die hard Apple fan will never purchase any other mobile phone unless he is treated badly by the Apple customer support. Such loyal customer base can help companies stay ahead of their competition.

According to Ad Age Datacenter, Coca-Cola spent around $3.3 billion worldwide in 2013. Their brand awareness is so strong that consumers are often seen asking for coke even when they mean any brand of cola.

Brand awareness and brand recognition are not the same and should not be mixed up. If you recognize a brand, this shows that you are aware of it. But if you are aware of the brand it may not necessarily mean that you recognize it.  This is because you do not recognize the brand entirely unless you are fully aware of each and every feature of the brand. In a Business-to-Consumer environment (B2C), most companies’ key marketing strategy is to develop and maintain strong brands.

Battle for Brand Awareness: Adidas or Nike?

One of the many ways of increasing brand awareness is through social media. Nike has around 4.6 million followers on twitter whereas Adidas has around 2.9 million followers. In addition, the number of followers Nike has on Facebook is double to that of Adidas. But what is more interesting is that in spite of having a smaller audience, Adidas has managed to have the same engagement levels as that of Nike. When we look at YouGov’s buzz metrics,  which tells whether the respondent has heard anything negative or positive about Adidas or Nike, we can see that the two brands are closely matched with Adidas slightly edging out Nike in the end. Image result for yougov's buzz comparison adidas nike

Source: UK 2014

Adidas had two teams in the Soccer World Cup finals wearing their strips. However, YouGov’s Ad Awareness metric suggested that Nike might have had the more successful tournament campaign wise. Both brands launched a high profile ad campaign during that time. Nike created their ‘Risk Everything’ strategy, which involved crafted animated avatars of high-profile players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr. In comparison to that, Adidas unveiled their ‘All in, or nothing’ campaign which involved the retired David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane as well as the current Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi.

Image result for yougov's buzz comparison adidas nike

Source: UK 2014

Adidas is a long-time supporter of European Championships, counting 20 years of kit supplies. In 2016 Euro Cup, Adidas supported 37% of the teams participated. Nike also focuses on kits and players’ sponsorships to maintain its brand status.

Nike supported 25% of the teams in Euro 2016. Nike seems to have ensured big stars for its campaigns, including Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Wayne Rooney (England), and Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden) whereas Adidas is sponsoring big players like Paul Pogba (France), Gareth Bale (Wales), and Mesut Özil (Germany). There seems to be a balance among both brands and the number of big players they are sponsoring, and this balance is also maintained on the sponsoring of the last four teams left on the tournament.

The battle between the two brands is only getting intense with both the brands trying their best to dominate their sector.  The shoes I wear while playing is of Nike. I haven’t had much problems with the brand since it has delivered on its promise of being the best quality. Nike has lasted with me longer than any shoe brand has. The quality I found in Nike, I haven’t found it elsewhere. So, I personally prefer Nike over Adidas.

Darryl Dsa



Ambler, T 2000, ‘Marketing Metrics’, Business Strategy Review, vol. 11, no.2, pp. 59-66, retrieved 24 September 2016, < >.

Homburg, C, Klarmann, M & Schmitt, J 2010, ‘Brand awareness in business markets: When is it related to firm performance?’ International Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 201-212, retrieved 24 September 2016, doi:10.1016/j.ijresmar.2010.03.004

Hoyer, WD & Brown, SP 1990, ‘Effects of Brand Awareness on Choice for a Common, Repeat-Purchase Product’ Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 141-148, retrieved 25 September 2016, doi:10.1086/208544

Huang, R & Sarigöllü, E 2014, ‘How brand awareness relates to market outcome, brand equity, and the marketing mix’, Journal of Business Research, vol. 65, no.1, pp. 92-99, retrieved 25 September 2016, Elsevier.

Litsa, T 2016, Euro 2016: Adidas competes with Nike for brand awareness, ClickZ, retrieved 24 September 2016, < >.

Macdonald, EK & Sharp, BM 2000, ‘Brand Awareness Effects on Consumer Decision Making for a Common, Repeat Purchase Product: A Replication’, Journal of Business Research, vol. 48, no.1, pp. 5-15, retrieved 25 September 2016, Elsevier.

Munoz, T & Kumar, S 2004, ‘Brand metrics: Gauging and linking brands with business performance’ Journal of Brand Management, vol. 11, no.5, pp. 381-387, retrieved 24 September 2016, < >.

UK 2014, Nike and Adidas – The Battle Continues, YouGov, retrieved 24 September 2016, < >.

Ukehajdaraj, G 2015, ‘ Brand Awareness – Definition, Its Importance, How to Measure and Increase It, Brand Awareness, weblog post, 14 July, retrieved 25 September 2016, < >.

Zmuda, N 2014, Coca-Cola Maintains Marketing Spend Amid Sluggish Demand, Advertising Age, retrieved 24 September 2016, < >.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s