Adidas is trouncing Nike and Under Armour on their home field

Adidas owns the game right now.
Adidas owns the game right now.
Image: AP Photo/Michael Sohn
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Adidas can’t be stopped. The German sportswear label reported another surge in North American sales this quarter. Adidas brand sales jumped 31% in the quarter, topping $1 billion in the region.

What makes that accomplishment so impressive is that sales of activewear and sneakers in the US are actually in a slump right now. Adidas’ two biggest rivals, Nike and Under Armour, have both struggled recently to keep sales up on their home turf. Adidas, however, is having no such problems.

The US is by far the biggest prize in the sportswear market, which is why Adidas’ ascendance and Nike’s stumbles there have shifted the balance of power in the sports industry. Nike is still the reigning king in the region, with about $3.9 billion in sales in North America. But Adidas has been steadily stealing market share.

Shoppers in the US have been buying fashionable, casual sportswear for some time and leaving performance products on the shelves. Adidas, more than any other sports brand, has nailed this shift, particularly in its range of comfortable, fashion-focused sneakers.

The German giant’s growth did slow some compared to previous quarters—more than analysts expected. Overall, its third-quarter sales rose 9% to about €5.7 billion ($6.6 billion), while analysts predicted sales of about €5.9 billion. CEO Kasper Rorsted attributed the lower growth in Europe in particular to a more general slowdown there.

But in the US, it’s still outplaying its competition.