The Economic Times
Kolkata — After David Beckham, Germany’s iconic sports goods maker, the e10.3-billion Adidas Group, is poised to come up with an apparel and accessories collection named after glamourous tennis ace Sania Mirza. The group will roll out the Sania Mirza collection under its namesake ‘adidas’ brand. This is the first time that Adidas will globally roll out a dedicated merchandise line after a tennis star.
The Sania Mirza collection will include apparel, headgear, accessories, bags and sporting gear. The entire portfolio has been designed at global headquarters of Adidas in Germany and the collection will have a distinct style element across all merchandise categories. The collection will be targeted at consumers in the 15-27 years age group.
The lifestyle portfolio of the collection will be launched in September and sports gear in January 2009 to coincide with the Australian Open. The collection will be sold worldwide through Adidas stores, since the company noted that several countries were interested in the collection. Adidas already has a similar merchandise line for soccer star David Beckham.
“The design element of the Sania Mirza collection will reflect her personality — flamboyant, stylish, unconventional and emotional. We may also add a shoe line to the collection at a later date. While we are yet to finalise the pricing, the apparel range will have price-points between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500,” Adidas India marketing MD Andreas Gellner told ET.
Incidentally, Adidas in December 2007 had roped in Sania Mirza as its brand ambassador. But the decision to roll out a merchandise line was taken recently after an internal market survey revealed that Sania was among the top three youth icons in India. “A merchandise line with Sania will also help us create a stronger association with tennis,” said Mr Gellner.
Adidas, which had acquired Reebok globally in 2005, plans to kick off the integration process in India sometime soon. “We do have plans to undertake integration of back-office operations with Reebok India. This will be for functions like HR, finance and warehouses. But the sales and marketing functions will operate separately. We are yet to finalise a time frame for the integration,” Mr Gellner said.
Adidas India has some 325 stores, which will grow to 950 outlets by 2010. All these stores are set up on the franchise model. The Adidas brand currently enjoys some 25-30% share in the Indian brand while Reebok around 45-50% share. “By 2010, we expect India will be among the top 15 markets globally for the Adidas Group,” said Mr Gellner.