Adidas, the German sportswear maker, and Bayern Munich, the soccer club in which it owns a small stake, have a thing or two in common. Both are undisputed national champions. And both continue to labor in the shadow of one international rival – for Munich, it’s Spain’s Real Madrid; for Adidas, it’s Nike of the US.
While Munich this April again lost to its arch-nemesis in the European Champion’s League, Adidas is luckier in that the game of selling sports shoes, clothing and accessories takes more than 90 minutes. Last year, it reclaimed the US number two spot (by sales), lost to Nike-owned Under Armor in 2014. This led Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted to exclaim: “We want to win the battle in North America.” The world’s second-biggest sportswear maker is playing a long game for domination.