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Adidas to Hire Thousands This Year

Adidas is adding to its ranks in a big way this year.

The German athleticwear giant said it plans add about 2,800 employees this year to its 62,000-strong global employee base. The all-new roles and backfilled positions include 900 associates for retail stores, 500 in IT and data analytics, and more than 50 apprenticeships and dual study programs.

After doubling its sustainability-focused roles in 2021, Adidas plans to hire more subject matter experts in the field this year. Last year, the brand expanded its use of eco-friendlier materials like ocean plastics and mushroom-based Mylo leather to 60 percent and this month debuted regenerated nylon apparel, footwear and accessories with Prada.

The company expects to grow its 7,700-strong German workforce by 800, with some joining the 5,300 employees at its Herzogenaurach headquarters. Others will be spread across 307 stores and offices in 47 countries.

The Adidas corporate campus in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
The Adidas corporate campus in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Peter Kneffel / Associated Press

Amanda Rajkumar, Adidas executive board member responsible for human resources, people and culture, called the company “an employer like no other.”

“We want to set standards and we go above and beyond every day to create an attractive working environment for our employees,” she said.

The Adidas careers page currently shows 756 openings in all departments and locations, though new jobs will be added throughout the year, Rajkumar said. Ranked among Forbes’ top 20 best employers in October, the company receives more than 1 million applications annually through its online portal.

Adidas’ hiring news came just one day after soon-to-be-former subsidiary Reebok confirmed plans to lay off about 150 workers, the majority of whom work at its Boston headquarters. The cuts are expected to take place by the end of the first quarter, when new owner Authentic Brands Group (ABG) officially completes the $2.45 billion purchase from Adidas.

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Adidas looks to invest in women

Adidas unveiled what it is calling “its biggest ever commitment to women” Monday.

The new year will see “major investment in women-focused product innovation,” starting with “a completely new approach to sports bras,” the company said. Adidas indicated it will also “celebrate and elevate” its athletes, teams and creators, including by expanding its sponsorship of major leagues and tournaments, such as the Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) Women’s Champions League and Women’s Euro 2022.

Finally, the company plans to expand and launch grassroots programs focused on encouraging and keeping women and girls in sport. This includes introducing Breaking Barriers Academy in Europe, which will provide gender-equity learning resources to sporting clubs, coaches and athletes. Adidas will continue partnerships with Black Women’s Player Collective, a nonprofit led by Black professional soccer players that advocates for change, and Common Goal, a pledge-based organization that supports high-impact soccer NGOs.

HoYeon Jung, the breakout star of Netflix's "Squid Game" tv show, will star in Adidas' upcoming Impossible is Nothing campaign
HoYeon Jung, the breakout star of Netflix’s “Squid Game” TV show, will star in Adidas’ upcoming Impossible is Nothing campaign. Adidas

Adidas plans to put women at the center of its “Impossible is Nothing” campaign this season. The I’mPossible film series will tell the stories of “women who have made their impossible possible,” it said. Set to launch Feb. 14, the campaign will feature volleyball player Tifanny Abreu, basketball player Asma Elbadawi, model Ellie Goldstein, “Squid Game” star HoYeon Jung, runner Fatima Ibrahimi, skateboarder Momiji Nishiya and yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley.

Adidas’ promise to invest in women-focused product innovation builds off last month’s Ultraboost 22 launch, which saw the company tout an overhauled design created by and for women. The all-women team of designers and product developers based the silhouette on insights gathered from an online anatomy database of 1.2 million foot scans, the company said. The resulting last included a narrower heel pocket, shallower forefoot profile and lower instep area.

When outlining his predictions for sport retail in 2022 last week, Matt Powell, NPD Group vice president and senior industry advisor for sports, said the women’s market remains the sneaker and activewear industries’ “greatest failure and [their] greatest opportunity.” Earlier this month, Powell noted that Adidas had ceded share in women’s athletic footwear in 2021.