This post will look at how Nike and Adidas operate in China e-commerce and social media. Each brand has its own flagship store on Tmall.com, China’s largest B2C Internet platform. Nike’s flagship store offers about 900 SKUs from a variety of product categories, including men’s and women’s shoes, running apparel, backpacks, socks, soccer balls and even cell phone cases. Nike boasts its Lebron James sponsorship on its home page with images of the player and newly released Lebron 11 basketball shoes. The Pro Combat Core Training t-shirt was Nike’s top seller this past month, selling about 1,000 units at $32 per t-shirt.
The Adidas Tmall flagship store also displays its sponsor, tennis star Andy Murray, and offers a more diverse selection of 4,000 SKUs, including backpacks, workout apparel, rain gear, shoes, sweatshirts, soccer jerseys and sweatbands. Adidas’ top-seller this past month was a men’s training jacket, selling about 400 units at the $16 price point.
On China’s Twitter equivalent, Sina Weibo, Nike has 226,000 followers. Nike sponsors China’s best tennis player (and third highest-ranking women’s tennis player in the world), Li Na, and their Weibo account displays multiple Youku videos featuring digitalized images of Na encouraging tennis fans and athletes to buy Nike apparel. Meanwhile, Adidas’ Weibo page has 1.4 million followers and links with a flashy 30-second Youku video promoting Adidas’ “This is me” campaign. The video can be viewed here and has over ten times the viewings as Nike’s Li Na clip.
Our take: Nike has a strong brand-identity online through sponsorships, but Adidas wins in digital marketing and product selection.