CX Industry Focus: Top Sports Brands

The rising popularity of clean eating, fitness fads and peoples’ new-found obsession with active-wear is great news for big sports brands. But is it just the product that consumers are interested in? The simple answer is ‘no’.

No matter how big the brand or popular the product, customers will always prioritise good service. As human beings, we are inherently emotional. We want to know that we are valued and that our needs and wants are taken into consideration, especially when it comes to purchasing a product with our hard-earned cash. In order to become the best, these active-wear giants must understand the importance of great customer experience.

We’ve gathered and analysed data from five leading sports brands to see what drives customers’ emotions towards them. Let’s see what our emotion analytics software, Emotics, has found out about these top brands, and who comes out on top when it comes to customer experience.

Our analysis shows some surprising results:


Soaring into first place with an impressive Adorescore of 39 is Reebok. The brand have recently collaborated with American singer-songwriter Ariana Grande, which is huge. The power of ‘influencer culture’ cannot be underestimated and, like instagram influencers, Grande’s ability to persuade is powerful. Our analysis finds that this is the primary reason driving the winning score of 47 in Joy, 10% above industry average. To add to this, Reebok have created a bespoke pair of sneakers as a tribute to the late Gary Warnett, who was well known in the world of sportswear and journalism.

However it’s is not just lucky collaborations or emotional gestures that win Reebok top place in our emotion analysis results, the brand also win when it comes to good customer experience.



Coming in close second with a healthy score of 37 is Asics. Asics recently teamed up with online fashion retailers Harmony Paris to create a new collection known as ‘GEL-Venture’. The GEL-Venture sneakers have a minimalist design, easily appealing to a range of consumers, and the soles are made specifically for durability over different terrains. Asics are aware of consumers’ active lifestyles and desire for adventure, and are catering for their needs perfectly with their new collaboration.

Asics score an impressive 44 on the Joy index, which is 3% above the industry average. The brand boast great customer service which drives such a high joy index and contributes to their overall customer experience.

Under Armour

Under Armour place themselves right in the middle of our rankings. The brand earn an Adorescore of 36. Under Armour recently teamed up with American rapper ASAP Rocky to release the new sneaker line ‘SRLo’. This has undoubtedly bolstered the brand’s popularity, as supporters of the rapper are likely to support the brand and line. However, their popularity in the long-term is defined by other actions, such as their customer care. Whilst consumers may love the brand for their collaboration, they’re not so fond of them when it comes to poor customer service.


Coming in fourth is Adidas. The brand earn a relatively unimpressive Adorescore of 30, despite their recent collaborations with Taxi Fabric’s Maria Qamar (to release the new, vibrant women-focused sneaker ‘Falcon’), and actress and TV personality Hailey Baldwin. Adidas’s low overall Adorescore is driven by the brand scoring 34 in Sadness, which is 9% above the industry average. Things are not looking good for this industry-giant, as consumers continually contact the brand asking for help and are frequently ignored.

For a brand as big as Adidas, and with such a huge digital following, impeccable customer experience is a must.


In last and final place is Nike. Nike brings home a dismal score of 21, which is somewhat shameful for a brand as big as this. Nike score 35 for Disgust, which is a staggering 16% above the industry average. However, Nike’s poor score could be attributed to the recent uproar regarding the brand’s ‘new face’. Nike recently denounced Colin Kaepernick as the new image of their “Just Do It” campaign. This has lead to individuals losing confidence in the brand, and proceeding to burn their products in protest.

Whilst these actions might not be necessary… they have caused a strong divide in Nike’s customer base: half of the Nike’s consumers are shunning the brand. NBC reported that A Rhode Island town council has voted to ask its departments to refrain from purchasing Nike product” (Associated Press, 2018), whilst the other half are in support of the decision to assign Kaepernick as the new face of Just Do It.

A huge number of consumers are shocked that individuals would burn good products, stating that the items should be donated instead of destroyed.

Despite Nike’s most recent social stance, analysis dictates that a lot of Nike’s sadness is driven by their poor customer service.

As one of the key leaders in sports apparel, Nike fail to meet the simple needs of their customers and fall short when it comes to good communication.

Our analysis shows that customer care is key. In order to win as a brand you must first win over your customers by catering for their needs, listening to them and fixing any issues they may have. Customers must feel valued and be rewarded. Reebok have earned the trust of their consumers by partnering with popular singer-songwriter Ariana Grande. Whilst trust may initially be driven by this action, it is maintained in the long run by valuable and meaningful customer experience. This is supported by our analysis of both Adidas and Nike. Both brands have collaborated with celebrities however they both fail to beat their competitors due to their continued customer service fails.

Customer experience is still king

When it comes to long-term brand loyalty, good CX dominates. If big-name brands are able to tap into the emotions of their consumers and offer customer communication that is helpful, reliable and sincere then they will win the hearts, and the custom, of current and prospective consumers.

Adoreboard’s emotion analytics platform, Emotics, is unique and innovative in the field of emotion analysis. Emotics enables companies and clients to measure the emotions of their customers, shedding light on why they feel a particular way about a brand or product, and uncovers the themes driving these emotions.

If you’re ready to uncover decision ready insights and better your customer experience, click here to book a demo today.


Trusted by Fortune 1000 companies
Get Your Edge

Book a personalised demo

Discover faster, deeper insights than you've ever had before