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Adidas and Prada: the real reason behind the partnership

Prada for Adidas

he word is out. Adidas and Prada are bringing out #PradaforAdidas: A pair of sneakers and a handbag. However, this collaboration is so much more than just a random mix of big brands. It’s a brilliant move and here’s why.

Adidas × Prada

Following in the footsteps of H&M × Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton × Supreme and yes even Heidi Klum × Lidl, Adidas and Prada are partnering up. After a handful of teasers, the Italian fashion house and the sports label finally unveil their collection, which ‘only’ consists of a pair of sneakers and a handbag. Available in a limited edition of 700 copies made in Italy by Prada. So what could be the motivation for this collab?

Best of both worlds

Prada and Adidas are making use of co-branding. This is a branding strategy for a clearly recognizable (temporary) collaboration between different brands. With successful co-branding there is synergy between the two brands, as a result of which a higher turnover is generated than if a product or service were only marketed under one brand.

The advantage of co-branding is especially evident when the owner of one brand can borrow the credibility of another brand for its product or service. With successful co-branding, a new (sub) brand is created in the consumer experience. In this case, Prada for Adidas.

Risky business

The reason why there’s an emphasis on ‘successful co-branding’, is because it’s not always a good idea to use co-branding. Powerful brands put their reputation at risk in co-branding, because the chance of an even more positive brand evaluation is low for these brands.

“A partnership to begin a partnership.”

Let’s look at the facts. According to Statista, Adidas has a value of 16.7 billion dollars versus 4.8 billion dollars of Prada. Besides that, Adidas is considered the 4th most popular clothing & footwear brand and the 2nd most famous. Prada is ‘just’ the 74th most popular clothing & footwear brand and the 41st most famous. Does Adidas really need this collaboration?

Sharing is caring

Both brands are responsible for a number of — now legendary — designs that have brought fashion and sport together. The Superstar sneaker, for example, was originally a basketball shoe, but since its launch in 1969, the sneaker has become a true phenomenon in pop culture. Prada has also launched several sportswear items within its Prada Linea Rossa collection.

And that’s exactly why this partnership is happening. High fashion entering sportswear and vice versa. Prada has been very resistant to partnerships in the past, but now it looks like they are trying to gain market share in sportswear. Adidas is trying to gain market share in high fashion for a while now with various partnerships (Yeezys anyone?). A smart strategy for both brands and a match made in heaven. Or in Italy actually.

Just the beginning

Adidas and Prada are about to take full use of co-branding. Increasing brand equity, gaining access to new markets, image improvement, increasing customer base, increasing profit, giving customers new products, increasing market share and reducing operating costs. Oh, and of course, writing fashion history.

The press release already said it: “A partnership to begin a partnership.” Starting December 4, conveniently before the holidays.

So, are you getting the new Pradidas?

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