Streetwise Professor

August 1, 2014

The Real Reason Adidas Opposes Sanctions: It Can’t Afford to Lose the Gopnik Market

Filed under: Economics,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 4:27 pm

Adidas stock got pounded earlier this week, following a drastic cut in its revenue and profit forecasts.

The company blamed many factors, including Russia:

Adidas also said it was scaling back investment in Russia, where it runs more than 1,000 stores, due to a fall in the rouble since the start of the Ukraine crisis and increasing risks to consumer sentiment and spending there.

“Current tensions in the region point to higher risks to the short-term profitability contribution from Russia/CIS,” it said, adding it would significantly reduce its store opening plan for 2014 and 2015 and increase the number of store closures.

Adidas had said as recently as last month it had not seen any impact on its business in Russia – beyond the translation effect of the weaker rouble.

The gopniks need to buy more track suits! Sanctions may destroy the gopnik market! Now we know why Adidas has been pressing Angela to go easy on Putin.

This brings to mind a hilarious incident from the spring, when Russian Communist Party head Gennady Zyuganov shocked Russian sensibilities by wearing an Adidas track suit while laying flowers on Stalin’s grave:

Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov caused a stir on the Russian blogosphere for laying flowers at the grave of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin while wearing an Adidas tracksuit jacket.

A Twitter user who registered under the name “Josef Stalin” quipped: “Zyuganov showed up in an Adidas tracksuit top, a white shirt and dress shoes. [I’d have had him] shot for this outfit!”

Zyuganov made the dress code blunder on Sunday at a ceremony on Red Square to mark the 92nd anniversary of the establishment of the pioneers, a Soviet-era Communist youth organization.

But the best part was Zyuganov’s excuse:

He told the Russian News Service radio station that he wore it because “nobody makes good tracksuits yet in our country.” He did not specify why he had to wear a tracksuit jacket at all, but perhaps it was its red color that made the Communist leader warm to the garb.

His gaffe may have caught people’s attention because Adidas goods symbolized capitalist swank for many Soviet people under the Communist regime.

Yeah. Capitalist swank. That’s why the Russian equivalent of chavs wear them.

Rest assured. Zyuganov swears he has no promotional contract with Adidas. It was purely a fashion statement.

If Russia can’t make a good track suit, then good luck with that self-reliance that Putin, Lavrov, Medvedev and Rogozin the Ridiculous are promising in high tech goods, military equipment and finance in the aftermath of the sanctions. I’m sure it will all work out swell.

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  1. Adidas is just missing the trend. “Vatnik” is the new apparel of choice in Russia.

    Comment by Ivan — August 2, 2014 @ 12:03 am

  2. @Ivan-Gopniks in Vatniks. It has a ring to it, eh?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — August 2, 2014 @ 7:51 am

  3. It was always very suspicious for me to see all those ватники and гопники wearing Adidas while storming the government buildings. And please, note that while watching these pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas propaganda videos on TV the terrorists are still wearing Adidas and some other popular trademarks’ wear.
    Now it is all clear to me and from now on I will do my beast to not only avoid these brands, but to also spread the word among my buds, contacts and neighbors so they could avoid them too.

    Comment by Europeo — August 2, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

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