In a recent article from TZ’s series covering several aspects of Bayern Munich, the PR Director of Adidas gave an insight into the story behind Bayern’s record jersey sales. Bayern sold a record 3.25 million kits in the 2021 calendar year. Given the insane marketing prowess of clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Liverpool to name a few, this is no small feat by any means.
Bayern Munich lifted the coveted Champions League trophy in 2020 completing their second European treble followed by their first sextuple. It was an insane period of about two years that saw Bayern absolutely smash teams in their way with beautiful free-flowing football. The club attracted a lot of new fans following that success.
Aside from this major impetus, Bayern has been putting in continuous efforts to expand into the United States and Latin American fanbase. The stints of superstars like James Rodriguez and Phillippe Coutinho were huge boosts to Bayern’s expansion in central and South America. Players like Alphonso Davies aside from having an inspirational journey as a footballer, gives off a lot of positive energy. He is someone very relatable to the Tiktok generation and helps the club capture younger audiences.
From Adidas’ perspective, aside from being Bayern’s principal kit sponsor, they also own a 8.33 percent stake in Bayern Munich. Hence, Bayern’s fiscal well being is inherently beneficial to Adidas. Being one of the largest equipment supplier in sporting goods with a wide distribution network has helped capitalise the on field success and turn that into jersey sales.
Renowned marketing expert, Dr Peter Rohlman opined, “In addition to the series of sporting successes and the internationalization strategy, the fact that equipment supplier Adidas is one of the big players in the sporting goods industry and also has a global distribution network at its side is also a major help in this respect.”
Adidas and Bayern also want to contribute to beyond just the aesthetics of kits. In regards to this Oliver Brüggen, Adidas’ PR director said “Adidas is driving the use of sustainable materials across its entire product range. For example, the current Adidas jerseys for FC Bayern Munich are already made of 100 percent recycled polyester to conserve resources and reduce emissions. From 2024, Adidas will only use recycled polyester. For many cotton products, Adidas uses 100 percent more sustainable cotton, primarily from the Better Cotton Initiative.”
He further explained Adidas steps in the direction of positive and sustainable workplaces in their supply chain. “The Adidas Workplace Standards commit our suppliers to progressively increase workers’ compensation and living standards through optimized pay systems, benefits, social programs and other services. The applicable legal minimum wage is the absolute minimum. The disposable income of workers in Adidas supplier factories is often higher.”