Adidas says merchandise sales hit US$156m
FRANKFURT, Aug 2 — Adidas has already reached its target for sales of Olympics merchandise in the UK, as fans snap up Team GB T-shirts, soccer kits and the Union flag wristbands as sported by tennis player Andy Murray.
Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said the German group had sold around 100 million pounds (RM486 million) of Olympics merchandise since products first hit the shops over a year ago, with more to come.
Adidas has got its money back on the 100 million pounds it has invested in sponsoring London 2012 and associated marketing.
"The biggest sales are coming now," Hainer said from the Adidas media centre in London that the company has set up next to the Olympic Park in Stratford for the duration of the Games. "We can see people are queuing in stores now to get their products."
Hainer, speaking to journalists after Adidas reported second-quarter results, said licensed product sales were already more than triple what it achieved in Beijing, making London 2012 the most successful Games ever for Adidas from a commercial perspective.
Traditionally, sportswear makers do not see the Olympics as such a big money-spinner as soccer tournaments. The Euro 2012, for example, will help Adidas to record soccer sales of over 1.6 billion euros ($2 billion) this year.
Along with making the official London 2012 sports apparel merchandise - which does not feature its three-stripes logo - for sale in the UK, Adidas provides the kit for hosts Team GB, replicas of which can be bought in stores.
As official sportswear partner, it is also providing 3 million items of clothing for the athletes to wear in the Olympic village and for volunteers.
Adidas will not be official sportswear partner of the next Olympics in Brazil in 2016. Hainer said the group had decided instead to focus on the soccer World Cup, also to be held in Brazil in 2014.
Its sponsorship of the London games has not been without controversy. When the Team GB kit, designed by Stella McCartney was first unveiled, it was criticised for being too blue.
Adidas also came under fire after reports that spectators wearing sneakers and T-shirts from rival sports brands would not be allowed into stadiums as organisers try to protect the money invested by sponsors.
Hainer himself dismissed such suggestions in an interview with Reuters last month. — Reuters