Adidas Invests in Ethical Image

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Luxury sports giants such as Adidas and Nike have long been criticised for big money sponsorships, but it seems Adidas has had a change of heart.

Ethical marketing has never been so crucial. One of the biggest causes of the decade has been to eradicate poverty. And despite high profile celebrities like Bono backing UN initiatives to end child poverty and promote sustainable living, it’s still an on-going battle. Big companies are now doing more to present a more ethical image by embracing corporate responsibility. And sports organisations like Adidas have often been at the front of the firing line with their extreme sponsorship deals. And last year Adidas was condemned in the press for the low wages it allegedly paid its workers in Chinese factories.

Adidas Turns a New Leaf

And so the news that Adidas, the German sports giant, is set to make €1 trainers for millions of people who can’t afford to buy shoes is a massive move for the company associated with expensive footwear and celebrity sponsorship. According to a report in the Telegraph newspaper, Adidas are lined up to launch a pilot production of the €1 trainers in Bangladesh. Adidas have a long history of charity events and sponsorships but have still retained its exclusivity thanks to its expensive trainers. The shoes incorporate the latest sports technology with innovative design, helping to boost an athlete’s performance and comfort. The €1 trainers however won’t be as sophisticated as the trainers Adidas sell to the developed countries.

The €1 Adidas Trainers

The €1 Adidas trainers are thought to be inspired by Bangladesh’s Nobel prize winner, Mohammad Yunus. Mr Yunus pioneered the use of micro-loans to boost poor communities, helping them to start their own businesses and become self sufficient. Mr Yunus approached Adidas, advising them to invest in its ‘social business’ after the label had been criticised for exploiting the developing world. The €1 Adidas trainers are hoped to create work in Bangladesh and the shoes will be produced on a non-profit basis, although the final price may be higher than the €1 target.

Boosting the Adidas Reputation

Adidas sponsors one of the UK’s biggest football stars at a whopping £3million per year – David Beckham is ‘brand ambassador’ for the sportswear giant, using his name to promote trainers that can sell up to £130 a pair. Adidas also spent an estimated £50m on brand sponsorship at the Beijing Olympics and is expected to invest £100m in the London 2012 Olympics. The €1 trainers will go a long way in boosting the image of Adidas, improving its reputation for social responsibility.

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