Adidas and the future of information integration

ChristinaWild    December 2, 2017

Mention the brand Adidas, and people all over the world will think of those three stripes. The brand is synonymous with style and sport, and Adidas has done an incredible job of breaking into both the athletic and personal style retail categories. So how does one of the biggest brands in the world ensure that it stays on top? The answer’s easy: social media.

Adidas has millions of social media followers. On Instagram, that’s 17.4 million followers. And Facebook? 31.6 million. Most companies can only dream of a social media presence like the one Adidas has created. With over 31,000 employees worldwide and global net sales of 19.29 billion euros in 2016, the secret to Adidas’ success can’t only be measured by its followers. Instead, the ways Adidas has incorporated social and collaborative tools across its worldwide organization is a testament to its success.

The value of a fully integration organization

A fully integrated organization is one that places collaboration and the visibility of information above all else. For Adidas, this is second nature. In an effort to bring its corporate mission to life, Adidas knows it requires the commitment of its employees:

This year we introduced “People Pulse” – our new global Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) survey tool. It allows our employees to give feedback about their overall employee experience at adidas and is also used to capture input about company culture and leadership. This feedback is reviewed by senior management to develop action plans to address key issues. The results of these surveys are a non-financial KPI for our company.”


In addition, Adidas also utilizes an information technology-based system to support and facilitate its business activity:

“We believe that a robust and state-of-the-art internal communication platform is essential for driving employee engagement and fostering learning as well as open collaboration within our organisation. We use an enterprise collaboration platform called ‘a-LIVE’, which brings the intranet, online collaboration platforms and important system applications under one roof. It allows departments and teams to quickly build and edit their own internal collaboration and communication platforms and connects users across departments as well as locations. It encourages employees to share knowledge, collaborate and discuss current topics. In addition, we have established an ‘Ask the Management’ platform on our intranet, enabling employees to openly address questions to our senior leaders which are then answered promptly.”

The value of integrating organizational and social data

Adidas has set in place a five-year brand strategy called “creating the new.” This strategy consists of a few very specific KPIs, including “Growth strategy with clear focus on speed, cities and open source” and “Net income to increase around 15% per year on average.”

Like many other large companies, Adidas had a problem with siloed data. Master, social, product and consumer data is less useful in improving business efficiencies and outcomes when it is stuck in separate places.The company needed to find a way to consolidate this data to ensure it could meet its strategy expectations.

To do this, Adidas utilized a ‘shared metadata service’ that Senior Project Manager Sokratis Kartelias described to Incite Group as “a common and controlled vocabulary that enables searchability of content” across the company’s website.” By processing consumer’s responses through a graph database, Adidas can constantly improve and update their personalization to be as relevant as possible, Matt Pigott writes in his article.

This consumer data coupled with product and master data ensures that leaders and stakeholders have all the necessary tools to focus on strategic decision making and that will undoubtedly transform overall business performance.

Lessons for Others

Companies looking to gain success like Adidas need to be able to create an integrated business environment, where collaboration, visibility and company-wide engagement are king. Utilizing social media data, master data, employee data and consumer data to understand business trends and act upon them, will only lead to success.


*Note: My contact at Adidas was no longer able to provide me with information for this piece due to the recent media ban Adidas put it in place after this incident last week.

Organization: Adidas
Industry: Retail
Name of Organization Contact: NA

Authored by: Christina Wild

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Adidas Employee Page. Retrieved on December 2, 2017 from

Adidas News Archive. Retrieved on December 2, 2017 from

Pigott, Matt. (2016). Adidas’s strategy for 2020: Personalization, relationships, and restructured data. Incite Group. Retrieved on December 2, 2017 from

The Canadian Press. (2017). Couillard denounces Adidas store manager’s comments on French language. Retrieved on December 2, 2017 from