Adidas, major sports gear manufacturer from Herzogenaurach, Germany, is likely known to everybody around the globe.
Since 2000, adidas has been engaging in the market for customized sportswear. Their mi adidas program offers convenient online configuration of your favorite clothing and adds some extra motivation to your sporting efforts. It has been one of my favorite case studies and examples of mass customization in my presentations.
After 12 years of successful mass customization targeting individual athletes, adidas now took the next logical step, enabling not only the individual but also the entire team to design their own individual yet affordable uniforms. Mi adidas Team is the latest addition to the mi-family of adidas customization platforms. And from a business perspective, this may be the trigger to finally scale up MC at adidas.
Amateurs and professionals, youth and adults alike, from schools, universities, leagues and clubs can style a wide variety of footwear, apparel and accessoires. The team's crest, sponsor logo, player number or team name can be applied on the items which are also customizable by picking from 15 base colors.
Sportswear you look and feel great in is one factor adding to your (perceived) victory chances, fan support is another. Well aware of the importance of your supporters, adidas also offers the option to customize a number of off court items for fans, coaches etc.
In the spirit of good sportsmanship, adidas extends the idea of teamwork from the field to the computer: When you have created a design you are happy with, the configurator lets you share your concept with your teammates, management and sponsors via facebook, twitter, email or blog integration.
Once the final look has been decided upon, adidas will ship your order to a dedicated adidas specialist retailer within 45 days.
Mi adidas Team is currently availible for eleven sports categories (running track and field, running cross country, rugby, baseball, football, basketball, handball, volleyball, American football, TECHFIT® training and select Olympic sports) on 16 markets (USA, UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
For those who prefer old fashioned personal collaboration over online social media, mi Team has designed the platform with the use on mobile platforms in mind. It looks especially great on tablet PCs and allows you to design your new major league uniform right on your advancement party.
It will be interesting to observe how this rather large addition to adidas' customization portfolio will develop and which impact it will have on the market of (semi-)professional team sports goods. More about mi adidas Team on the official website.
Concluding, these are the following three features that make the new mi adidas team customization site really interesting for me:
- Moving from 1:1 customization to communities of users! This is still one of the first team customization sites.
- Building a multi-layered site that takes care of multiple stakeholders – players, equipment managers, coaches, moms, fans, retailers … this is one of the best configuration systems in this regard I have ever seen! While the online cofiguration toolkit is "just" common good practice, I would say, this multi-stakeholder capability of mi adidas team is terrific!
- Re-integrating the (independent) retailer back into the MC system. For a long time, MC moved direct, and away from retailers. With mi adidas team, the site also provides great opportunities for individual retailers to customize a sales pitch for a local team, based on a local set of garments. By making independent retailers part of the system, Adidas may utilize these retailers as "brand ambassodrs" for customization.