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Early signs of positive recovery visible, need to wait and watch what new normal will be, says Manish Sapra of adidas

In a conversation with, Manish Sapra, Senior Marketing Director of adidas India, said the brand had a right balance across online and offline space in the pre-Covid era. However, focus on digital has increased in the last few months and will remain the same going forward

Manish Sapra

Digital has become an essential medium for marketing and communication for adidas in India since the lockdown. The brand has seen unprecedented consumer engagement on social media with interest in stay-at-home fitness being a major trend in these times.

In a conversation with, Manish Sapra, Senior Marketing Director of adidas India, said the brand had a right balance across online and offline space in the pre-Covid era. However, the focus on digital has increased in the last few months.

“It’s hard to say when things will come back to ‘normal’ because the situation is still quite fluid but digital definitely will continue to be an important medium for us going forward,” he said.

Sapra said the brand’s business was affected by the lockdown buts still adidas has been at the forefront of driving momentum and inspiring people to continue and take to their fitness journeys, and people have shown their love for fitness and the brand too.

Sports and fitness are one of the very few things driving optimism and hope in a world seeking inspiration. Since lockdown, adidas has been running at-home fitness movement with the #HomeTeamHero campaign, and the community adidas runners along with athletes inspiring one and all to keep physically and mentally fit.

The brand yesterday announced its new brand ambassador Manushi Chhillar, fitness enthusiast and former Miss World 2017. The association with Chhillar is part of a broader brand strategy for adidas in India, under which the brand upped its focus on women.

Chhillar will be front-running adidas’ mission to inspire more women to embrace fitness while creating a positive social impact through the power of sport.

“In the last couple of years, we have signed some top women athletes in Hima Das, Nikhat Zareen and Mirabai Chanu to engage and influence young women in India towards self-confidence and belief in their dreams. With Manushi, we would like to continue on this journey and inspire young women. Manushi shall also play a key role in helping drive adidas’ sustainability efforts, which is a key pillar of importance for the brand,” Sapra said.

Adidas is currently piloting an in-store self-check-out kiosk in Bangalore, and if it turns successful, the brand will be rolling this initiative in all its stores across the country.

“Although off-late, we have been driving more online conversations because it has been the only channel that’s operating, now with offline retail opening, we are starting to see positive trends,” he said.

Sapra recommends brands to drive purpose and positivity, be speedy with its operations and communications, be relevant and maintain consistency of brand storytelling across channels and platforms.

Speaking on expectations from e-commerce, he said, “We don’t quite know what the new normal will be. While retail stores have started opening and the early signs are very positive, we will have to wait to see where the new normal settles in terms of the offline-online split.”

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