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adidas is going all in.

It was just announced that the German sportswear giant has big plans for US sports with eyes on signing over 500 athletes in the NFL and MLB in the next three years according to an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

The news comes not long after a disappointing year where the brand fell from the second place spot behind Nike to number three in the US behind Nike as well as Under Armour in the ever competitive sportswear and footwear industry.

Just recently, adidas signed Arizona State and the University of Miami to their label who were formerly with Nike, but also recently lost their relationship with famed Notre Dame to Under Armour.

This news marks a major shift in strategy for the German company which invests heavily in what many Americans refer to as the “other football” – soccer.  adidas endorses some of the game’s biggest athletes including Leo Messi as well as Premier club Manchester United which it signed to a record $1.3 Billion deal over 10 years.

While business has been climbing for adidas globally seeing a 13% gain in retail sales over Q3, the brand saw a 1.4% decline during that same period Stateside.  Compare that to Nike’s 16% gain during the same quarter in the US and you can see the position that the brand is in.

No figures of just how large the budget is has been revealed, but adidas’ North American president Mark King told WSJ, “We can’t use the global strategy. I know we’re a soccer brand globally, but in the US we have to be about US sport. We can still be number one in soccer, but that can’t be what drives our business.”

The key to American hearts is American sports and that is the shift and large investment that adidas is prepared to make.

With this news hitting the wires this morning, you can be sure that adidas will be acting swiftly as Nike and Under Armour will likely be doing the same to sign athletes to block the brand from getting more footing in the games they have a strong presence.

Source: Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider

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