Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
Adidas' regional marketing manager, Oswald Quintero, believes the brand, through its affiliation with world 100m champion Yohan Blake and World and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, can rival the popularity of competing brand Puma in Jamaica.
Puma's popularity in the island and across the world has ascended in tandem with the exploits of the brand's top athlete, world 100m and 200m record holder Usain Bolt.
"For us Yohan is one of the best," Quintero declared Thursday evening while speaking at the opening of adidas' first store in the island, located in Tropical Plaza. "It is new for Usain Bolt, because he (Blake) is running very, very fast and he is one of our heroes," he added.
Quintero anticipates that Blake, who they signed three years ago, is going to have a marvellous 2012 season, which includes the London Olympics.
"I think next year is going to be a great year for him, because adidas is thinking very, very high and very long with him and he is going to be a very, very nice guy next year," Quintero expressed. "Next year for Yohan Blake is going to be one of the best for sure. Veronica and Yohan are our stars, so wait for the next year," he added.
investment in sports
Adidas is well known in the football arena through their sponsorship of 80 per cent of the participating teams in the World Cup, 15 Champion League teams, reigning FIFA player of the year Lionel Messi, and National Premier League outfit Harbour View FC. They have plans to invest further in the world's leading sport locally during the first quarter of next year.
"We are going to sponsor two new football courts (fields) here in Jamaica and we are going to sponsor a team, so we have a lot of things to do next year," Quintero disclosed.
Adidas, which has been around since 1948, is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second-biggest sportswear manufacturer in the world, with American rival Nike being the biggest. This is the first of the German sports apparel manufacturer's core concept stores in Latin America. The core concept is a revolutionary retail concept with a modern design inspired in sports and following global visual merchandising tendencies.
"We got all the Caribbean, but really, Jamaica for us is a nice place to get a store like this, because we have a lot of young people doing sports and the people believe in sports and this is what we need, people believing in the sports," Quintero explained.
The store will be opened Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., while on Friday and Saturday, the opening hours will extend to 7 p.m.
Store manager Annmarie Massey is of the view that the store will be a hit in Jamaica.
"Puma has taken off because of Bolt, but adidas will also take off, because we have Blake and Veronica Campbell-Brown," Massey reasoned. "There are several stores that are right now carrying adidas, but nobody carries them in the complete way that we do."
She added: "We are going to be covering every sport that adidas makes gear for, so you will be seeing not just running and football, but tennis, swimming, the whole complete line."