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Adidas sharpens focus on tennis

21-August-2004
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Adidas sharpens focus on tennis

Adidas is increasing its focus on tennis in India.

The Brand Manager, adidas India Marketing Pvt Ltd, Mr Sriram Darbha, said the company is keen on developing the game, starting from the grassroots. Along with Madras Cricket Club, adidas is organising the adidas-MCC-AITA national junior and sub-junior tennis championship for children under 14 and 18 years of age from August 23-28.

The winners of this clay court tennis event will be awarded `adidas product scholarships' worth Rs 50,000 (in the under-18 category) and Rs 25,000 each (in the under-14 category). Shoes, apparel and accessories will be awarded under this scholarship.

adidas, which recently launched a new brand campaign (`Impossible is nothing') with Sachin Tendulkar, does not, however, currently have any tennis player as brand ambassador. Cricketers Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan, and star footballer Baichung Bhutia, are its other brand ambassadors.

The company launched shoes specifically for cricket just a few days ago. The Indian arm could well become the hub for adidas' involvement with cricket in other parts of the world where the company has a presence; this could even mean using Tendulkar in promotional campaigns in those countries, Mr Darbha said.

adidas is planning to get involved with other sports including badminton, squash and running. "The brand's promise is to promote sports and encourage young talent," Mr Darbha said.

While he would not reveal financial details, he said that the brand ranked second in the sports shoes and apparel market. The shoes are in the above-Rs 1,000 category, as they focused on superior performance and did not compromise on quality to gain market share, he said. The range of product specialisation has widened, though running shoes, followed by tennis shoes, are the ones which sell the most. Apparel contributes to 40 per cent of the turnover, and accessories 10 per cent.

According to Mr Darbha, adidas India is "the new powerhouse" in the Asia-Pacific region. Now ranked 11 among the branches in this region, in the next 2-3 years it would be in the third position, next to China and Japan, as its growth was very high, he added.

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