Adidas plans 3 solution to Olympic stripe ban

LONDON - Adidas is to replace its iconic three-stripe design with the number 3 across its product portfolio.

The sportswear brand's three-stripe design was banned by the International Olympic Committee earlier this year, following complaints from rivals that it gave Adidas an unfair advantage over other kit suppliers.

Herbert Hainer, the company's chief executive, told senior executives at an internal meeting last week that it plans "to come up with a creative solution using the number 3". This marks the first time Hainer has publicly accepted the IOC's decision.

The German firm will be restricted to a 20cm2 space for its logo on Olympic athletes' apparel, in line with limits imposed on other companies.

It is unlikely that the '3' design will attempt to circumvent these guidelines, given the close attention the IOC will be paying to Adidas apparel at the Turin Winter Olympics next February.

Hainer would not provide any further details on the overhauled identity, which is likely to be rolled out across the brand's future product lines in the professional athlete and consumer lifestyle markets next year. However, Adidas confirmed that it was exploring the concept.

Following the IOC's decision to limit the use of Adidas' 40-year old three-stripe design, tennis' four governing bodies, including the ATP and WTA, have followed suit; they are enforcing similar branding controls on Adidas apparel at all official tournaments next year.

Other major sports governing bodies are now under pressure to fall into line over the coming months, especially sports that hold Olympic status.

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