Recently Adidas announced plans to make a 1 euro sneaker! They have teamed up with Muhamed Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Ashoka fellow, founder of Grameen bank, and all around awesome human being, to design and produce a 1 euro shoe for the BOP market (bottom of the pyramid), starting in Bangladesh.
According to a news release:
Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus suggested the “social business” project to the company, which normally focuses on trendy, expensive sportswear for people who want to project a sporty image.
Yunus advised Adidas that people in the poor world need products that are both affordable and manufactured locally, creating jobs. The first Adidas non-profit shoes will be made in and for Bangladesh.
Adidas Group spokesperson Jan Runau said at the company’s head office in Herzogenaurach that the “one-euro” price-tag was more a concept and did not mean the shoes really would be that inexpensive. More specifically, the product is to be sold at no more than the cost of materials and manufacture. A memorandum of intent has been signed.
This is pretty impressive. Not only is this a savvy business move to tap into the billions of potential consumers in the “bottom of the pyramid” market, but it is a truly compassionate move by the company. I’m surprised – this seems like a move Nike would make – but this is an amazing way to extend the brand while providing access to a basic human need to billions; shoes may not sound like much but they can prevent many easily avoidable health problems as well as inspire more children to participate in sport.
And kudos to Adidas for teaming up with Mohamed Yunus, one of the true giants working to end poverty around the world. I couldn’t think of a better, more genuine, and respected figure to have developed this partnership with.
Let’s just hope that as they continue this partnership, Adidas sticks to the contents of their MOI (which I’m sure Yunus has combed overly closely), to keep the jobs in Bangladesh and the price point of these shoes extremely low.
I’m looking forward to tracking this project; I would be very curious to know if they plan on engaging the southern Africa market pre or post the World Cup with these shoes.
To read the full article, click here: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=29&art_id=iol1258316925203G655