Adidas Is All In On James Harden

Photo Credit: Bleacher Report
Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

Nike can’t offer everyone their own signature shoe and a massive pay out, so that leaves the door open for competitors like Adidas and Under Armour to entice athletes to jump ship.  This summer, Adidas  did just that when they lured James Harden from Nike with a massive 13 year deal that officially began on October 1st.  It would be difficult for anyone to say no to $200 million and a shoe/apparel line.


As of now, Harden will average $16.78 million on the final three years of his deal with the Rockets and $15.38 million annually from Adidas. But if Harden hits certain benchmarks, it’s possible he will earn more annually from Adidas than the Rockets.

Harden now has the opportunity to join the ranks of those making more from their shoe deal than their employer.  This comes at a time when Nike is slated to become the official apparel supplier of the NBA beginning the 2016-17 season (previously Adidas) and Under Armour passed Adidas up as the the 2nd largest seller of apparel.  Does James Harden have the star power and enough celebrity appeal to lead Adidas in reclaiming market share and increasing sales?

Adidas seems to think so.  The hefty price they paid to roster the NBA’s MVP runner-up, and the truck full of shoes they delivered to his house, would suggest they are all in.

Gert Boyle is Back in Columbia Sportswear’s New Ads

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

The Pacific Northwest’s toughest mother is back.  According to AdWeek, Columbia Sportswear chairman, Gert Boyle, will make her return to commercials tomorrow with the tag line “Tested Tough.”  If you ask her, she never left, “I’ve been coming to work at Columbia every day for more than 50 years.  They just hadn’t pointed the camera at me in a while for some reason” (AdWeek Q&A).

Gert’s 91 years of life include: fleeing Nazi Germany, taking over the company when her husband died and foiling a kidnapping attempt.  I’d say she’s the embodiment of “Tested Tough” and the campaign is in good hands.

From AdWeek:

“Most experts see Boyle’s return as a positive. “Older women are ‘in’—Joan Didion for Celine, Iris Apfel for Kate Spade so her resurrection of the ‘One Tough Mother’ persona could play into this,” said Michael Solomon, an industry consultant and professor of marketing at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.  Plus, ’90s nostalgia appeals to many consumers, so it makes sense for companies to leverage that trend if they can, said Matt Powell, an analyst at NPD Group. “Retro is a very important trend right now. I see no downside here,” he said.

However, Nick Clark, executive creative director at brand consultancy The Partners, injected a note of caution: “I’m concerned when a brand feels it has to revive an icon from a previous era. It seems to lack vision,” he said. “But, in its favor, it would be a distinctive approach for the category.”

Tune in tomorrow to determine if resurrecting Gert Boyle is a move in the right direction.  I have a feeling it will pay dividends.  If Gert’s sass, toughness and “mother/grand mother knows best” persona doesn’t warm your heart, then she can probably sell you something that will.