Nike Listed as Most Valuable Apparel Brand at $32.4 Billion; Adidas Ranks 3rd

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 23: Nike shoes are seen worn by LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on February 23, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Nike remains the highest-valued apparel brand in the world, with a valuation of $32.4 billion, according to Brand Finance.

"Nike's bold marketing makes it stand out in a busy marketplace of sportswear apparel brands. In a time when customers look for experiences and emotional connection, Nike's offering comes with unambiguous messages and values that people can rally behind," Richard Haigh, managing director of Brand Finance, said, per Nia Groce of HypeBeast.

Zara ($18.4 billion) comes in second place, while Adidas ($16.7 billion) is in third. H&M ($15.9 billion) and Cartier ($13.6 billion) are fourth and fifth, respectively.

While Adidas has increased its worldwide profile with a combination of shrewd athlete and celebrity endorsements and the success of the Boost product (among other items), Nike dwarfs even its most elite competition. The combined valuation of Zara and Cartier still falls short of Nike's. The brand is worth more than double all but two other apparel companies in the world.

Nike's value went up 16 percent year to year, perhaps in large part because the company aligned itself with more progressive attitudes. Colin Kaepernick's endorsement deal with Nike upset some but was widely lauded by the brand's customer base. Nike has likewise introduced multiple spots promoting female athletes, including one that premiered during Sunday's Oscars telecast.

A year ago, Nike appeared on a downward slope after losing 12 percent of its valuation from 2017, while Adidas closed the gap with a 41 percent surge.

Adidas' growth continued with a 17 percent rise in value, making it likely the brand will move into second place behind Nike a year from now. 

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