Adidas is tapping fashion designer Jerry Lorenzo and his Fear of God brand to help elevate its basketball business.
Lorenzo will lead creative and business strategy for Adidas basketball globally, and launch a Fear of God athletics sub-brand. NBA players James Harden, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose and Donovan Mitchell all have signature sneakers with the company.
Lorenzo was previously affiliated with Nike, releasing a pair of Air Fear Of God 1 sneakers on Instagram last month.
Adidas rivals have made notable moves in basketball recently:
- Puma brought on Jay-Z as creative director of its basketball division in 2018.
- Nike’s Jordan Brand signed five WNBA players, including 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield.
- Under Armour launched a sub-brand with Steph Curry.
It’s unclear if basketball presents a true growth opportunity for Adidas.
Sales of performance basketball sneakers were down 20% in the first half of 2020 and now represent less than 5% of all athletic shoes sold, according to NPD Group.
North America net sales for Adidas brand were down 6% year-over-year to $1.27 billion in its 2020 fiscal third quarter.
In comparison, Nike saw a 1% year-over-year gain in North American revenues to $4 billion in its most recent quarter.