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Adidas, Puma say Olympics a sales success
published: Tuesday | August 26, 2008

The Olympic Games not only brought gold for athletes and their countries, but also for the companies that outfitted them with their gear.

German companies Adidas AG and Puma AG - the second- and third-biggest makers of athletic apparel, respectively - both reported increased exposure and demand during the Beijing Games which ran August 8-24 in China.

The companies, based in Herzogenaurach, trail global leader Nike Inc.

Adidas said sales in China increased more than 60 per cent in the first half of 2008 making China the second-largest market after the US for the company.

"We are well on track to reach our sales target of more than 1 billion (US$1.47 billion) for the Adidas Group in China by 2010," said Herbert Hainer, the company's chief executive in a statement from Beijing.

By becoming market leader in China, Adidas said it sees itself closer to its aim of becoming the world's leading sports brand.

The company will try to continue its mission by preparing for the next Summer Olympics in London in 2012, "where Adidas will again be official sportswear partner," Erich Stamminger, the president of the Adidas brand in Beijing, said.

Business rival Puma AG also profited from the Olympic Games, especially by outfitting the Jamaican team and its star sprinter Usain 'Lightning' Bolt, who won three gold medals and three world records, Puma said Monday.

"We once again set new standards and made sports history, strengthening and expanding our position as one of the leading running brands," said Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz.

Both sport brands sponsored 16 national teams each during the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Shares of Adidas were trading down two per cent at 39.05 (US$57.40), while Puma shares were up 1.1 per cent at 210 (US$308.70) in Frankfurt afternoon trading.

- AP

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