The sports clothing company is reducing it’s product range for soccer shoes by 50% beginning in July. It is risking to lose loyal customers. The reduction is part of a mid-term plan. The customers will decide over the success of this plan.

Soccer is not just any sport for the German company. Since Adi Dasslers shoes with studs helped the German team win the first world cup title in Bern, soccer is part of the company identity. But especially it is an essential part of the business: The business with soccer makes more than 2 billion Euro revenue. Soccer is globally the the most popular sport: Brands like Adidas and its rival Nike are the biggest players in the soccer business. They are consistently increasing their presence in stadiums and soccer grounds and their sales in running and fitness benefit from the presence in soccer as well.

Considering the importance of soccer for the company this step will have a big impact on the company. Whether it will be good or bad can’t be projected yet. Fact is: It is easier to make to make better marketing for a smaller range of products.

David Backhams shoes will be history soon

Adidas sold 4 models in the past years. One of them was the model “Predator”, which was worn by David Backham and which was introduced with millions of euros for advertisements. Instead of continuing this path Adidas is going to sell only 2 models in the future: X and Ace. Marketing devides professionals and hobby players in 2 groups: the well considered strategic player with oversight on the one side and the unpredictable chaotic player on the other, who is running the enemies tactics into ground with spontaneos actions. A third model will be introduced as well, named after the Adidas most important sponsored player Lionel Messi.

This strategy includes dangers and opportunities just as well. Loyal customers who are used to play with the popular F50 over years will not find this shoe in shops anymore. This is less a problem for the professionals who are wearing whatever their sponsers give and modify for them, but the customers might reorientate on the market. The success depends on 2 models which will have to keep the customers from the other models and attract the competitor’s customers.

So far the perspectives for the new models look good: The orders for the second half for 2015 are increasing in all key markets. For Adidas the success of the new shoes is also important because it is used as indicator for the success of the new strategy to keep up the huge advance Nike is having on the market. Further more the Germans want to reduce the sport and leisure products and sell them with better concentrated marketing campagins.

The start of this strategy is coming from the classic models Stan Smith and Superstar, which are seen in several lifestyle sites. The concept is simple and profitable: After a while, when the R&D and advertisement costs for the models are payed off, the models are taking out of the shops and the most success full ones are just brought back with concentraded marketing campaigns and star support. The fewer models Adidas has to spread it’s marketing budget, the greater the success.