Rallying Cry

Adidas gives its athletic, fashion-forward fans something to cheer about in its latest New York flagship
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Posted March 13, 2017

Adidas (Herzogenaurach, Germany) premiered its global brand flagship in New York this past December at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 46th Street, adjacent to Times Square – arguably one of the world’s most prominent meccas of consumerism and tourism. Dubbed “adidas NYC,” the store serves as much more than simply a site to house its athletic wears: It’s a full-blown haven for sports lovers, weekend warriors and athleisure fashionistas.

Modeled after a high school sports stadium, the store is 45,000 square feet across four floors and is the retailer’s largest location in the world to date. Guests enter on the first floor, where the theme is immediately communicated as they approach the threshold, which resembles a stadium tunnel. High-energy music and colorful, animated digital graphics against the first floor’s back wall, as well as a glowing neon “court” suspended from the ceiling, convey the same kind of adrenaline surge experienced at a big game.


Photography: Courtesy of Adidas Group, Herzogenaurach, Germany

Adidas quickly makes it evident that experience is king here – either by way of customization, community or by literally (or virtually) getting in on the action themselves. On the lower level, next to the men’s department, is The Turf, a dedicated turfed area where shoppers can test out footwear by actually kicking around a soccer ball or practicing footwork using provided agility obstacles. Directly across is the Run Genie, a souped-up treadmill that runs in sync with a digital image that makes customers feel as though they’re actually running outdoors in the Big Apple. Its purpose is to measure gait in order to find the shopper’s ideal running shoe in just 60 seconds.

Beyond entertainment, adidas designed and incorporated these features to help athletes improve their performance with their products in the long term. “[Adidas NYC] is tailored for athletes’ needs and desires to help them make a difference in their game, in their life and in their world,” said Kasper Rorsted, ceo, adidas Group, in a statement released by the company.


Photography: Courtesy of Adidas Group, Herzogenaurach, Germany

Adding to the store’s exclusive feel, it features two customization zones where shoppers can personalize adidas gear. The Print Shop on the lower level allows visitors to customize jerseys on-the-spot using heat-transfer printing, while the “miadidas” studio on the third floor makes the shopper an adidas Originals shoe designer. Here, they can view and feel swatches of fabrics, rubber shell toe caps and accent stripes, plugging their desired materials into a simple digital interface. The final masterpiece is delivered to their home within one month.

The store’s mezzanine reinforces a sense of location and community, featuring mock high school stadium bleachers directly across from large-screen TVs, where guests can catch up with live games, along with other store-goers. As for tagalong shoppers who aren’t huge sports fans? It’s also a prime spot to gaze out of the store’s expansive Fifth Avenue window façade, relax and charge mobile devices, with charging ports built into the seating.


Photography: Courtesy of Adidas Group, Herzogenaurach, Germany

This adidas location, in particular, is part of the company’s larger effort to expand its flagships as premier experiential destinations in major metropolises around the globe, aimed to “challenge the status quo and what consumers expect when they go to a store,” said Mark King, North America president, adidas Group, in a release. “We’re giving consumers an experience that’s really authentic to them. Our job isn’t to dictate what they need or what we think they might want, but to listen to our consumers and athletes and create the future together. That’s exactly what we’re doing with adidas NYC.”