Adidas, the world's second largest sporting goods maker, wants to now become the leading brand for outdoor gear by 2015. The Company is introducing the new Terrex Feather mountaineering jacket for Spring/Summer 2010. VF Corp, owner of the North Face, currently leads the $59 billion European outdoor gear market with $2.74 billion in annual sales.
The new 325 gram Terrex Feather mountaineering jacket is designed to protect hikers or climbers to heights of up to 6,000 meters. The innovative jacket includes Adidas' own FORMOTION technology in a Gore-Tex Pro Shell. The jacket has two ventilating mesh pockets, a fully adjustable hood, and a water repellent two-way zipper system. The Terrex Feather mountaineering jacket will initially be available only in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, China and Korea. Adidas plans to make their entire outdoor gear line available globally by 2012.
Adidas' outdoor gear division employs 40 people developing high-tech apparel and boots. The group has increased marketing spend this year by running TV commercials with the Huber brothers, known for their extreme alpine climbing. Adidas has also renewed their sponsorship of Reinhold Messner, who originally wore special Adidas hiking boots on his climb up to Everest Base camp. "It is at the moment most important for us to gain credibility in the outdoor community," said outdoor gear division leader Rolf Reinschmidt.
Adidas plans to build its outdoor gear division organically, using its own brand name, instead of through acquisitions. "Adidas is doing a seriously good job as the company tries to take advantage of the increasing interest for outdoor gear," said Mark Held, secretary general of the European Outdoor Group.
In December 2008, Adidas sponsored Alexander and Thomas Huber on their first ascent of the Holtanna West Face, the most difficult face in Antarctica. A few days later the brothers also completed another first ascent on the West Pillar of the Ulvetanna. Watch highlights of the Antarctica climb below: