Adidas Signs Marketing Agreement

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German sporting goods marketer adidas-Salomon AG took


its first major plunge on the Internet yesterday with the


decision to form a marketing and e-commerce


relationship with U. S. sports media company


SportsLine.com and its Sports.com European subsidiary.


According to the letter of intent for the three-year


deal, adidas will advertise its brand and products on


CBS SportsLine at www.cbs.sportsline.com and


www.sports.com. In addition, adidas products will also


sell on Sports.com, which operates local-language


online stores in the U.S., Germany, France, Italy,


and Spain.


"We don't look at e-commerce today as separate from


the Internet, but we want to look at this as a whole


[and] we want to exploit the opportunities," said


Peter Csanadi, spokesman of adidas.


Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed,


although Csanadi said it was in the millions of


dollars.


The alliance will cover the U.S., Europe and Asia, a


new market that SportsLine and Sports.com soon intends


to enter. Plans call for cross promotions between the


two online companies and adidas, including


co-marketing through Web- and land-based events.


While little is known about the e-commerce aspects of


the deal, Csanadi said that contextual sales


will play an important part in the deal. So, for


instance, visitors to the Sports.com site will soon be


able to buy an adidas product displayed on a player's


visual by simply clicking on it.


In return, Sports.com will get offsite advertising and


sponsorship sales support from adidas media buys.


Based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, adidas first started


selling online to U. S. consumers in mid-1999.


Visitors to www.thestore.adidas.com can buy over 500


company products. European consumers, on the other


hand, were able to buy adidas products only March


onwards at www.adidas.com/thestore.


adidas last year recorded revenues of nearly $5


billion, most of it through bricks-and-mortar store


sales of footwear, apparel and hardware products under


the adidas, Salomon, Taylor Made, Mavic, and Bonfire


brands.
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