Staying a Foot Ahead

I have been an athlete all my life.  I’ve gone through countless pairs of basketball shoes, Soccer shin guards, volleyball knee pads, you name it.  Over the years, athletic brands have constantly had to compete for my affections.  It was a continuous battle between Nike and Adidas in my mind.  Nike often was victorious, not because of any particular marketing genius, but because my father was a brand-loyal Nike consumer.

Today, as a continue to engage in athletic activity, so much more information is available pertaining to these two companies that should aid in my decision.  Nike or Adidas?  Because having a social media presence is becoming an increasingly substantial influence on brand success, it is fitting to analyze these companies in terms of their presence on the net.  I figure that, the more people liking a certain brand, and talking about it positively, the more likely that they are the best choice for an athletic apparel purchase.

The logical first step would be to check the websites of the two companies.  I first looked at Nike’s site. The site is colorful, easy to access and navigate, and showcases their best shoes.  However, a couple problems come to mind.  First, there is now noticeable connection to the companies networking sites.  This is becoming increasingly important.  Also, there is no real site homepage.  Rather, there are links to different shoe sites.  Then I looked at Adidas site. While this site does have an actual homepage, it is not as visually striking of a site as Nike.  This site has a noticeable link to its Twitter, but no connection to Facebook is seen on the homepage.  Both of these companies need to step their game up when it comes to social media…

The second step is to check out the Facebook pages of these two companies.  Facebook.com/Nike has a Facebook page that is keeping with the times.  They have switched to the timeline feature Facebook has recently implemented, which suggests that Nike is “hip” in the social media world.  They also have an astounding number of “likes” reaching 7.9 million.  The site states that 830,734 people are talking about Nike on Facebook.  The site also shows the supplementary sites that Nike offers such as NIke Basketball, Football, etc., with their number of “likes” as well.  Overall, this is a very well-maintained Facebook page.

Adidas Facebook page is a different story.  This company has not taken the leap and switched to the timeline feature, which suggests to me that the IT guys at Adidas are slacking a bit.  In this technology savvy world, big brand companies like Adidas need to get it together.  Despite this fact, Adidas still has an impressive 6.5 million “likes.”  All of Adidas posts on the Facebook wall are regarding their celebrity endorsements.  That is what commercials are for!  Bragging on their site seems a bit tacky.

I’m not a “Tweeter” myself, but how many people are following certain brands on Twitter is becoming an increasingly important measurement for brand success as well.  Currently, Nike has 288,733 followers on Twitter, and Adidas has 200,204.  If this is any indication of which brand to chose, Nike is winning, but not by much.

What does this really mean for these companies?  I’m not sure I buy in to the belief that the more likes and followers, the more money this company is making.  A lot of people could “like” a certain brand or “follow” one with absolutely no intention of purchasing its products.  I digress.

I’m switching to Under Armour.