Adidas AG has announced the launch of TechFit Period Proof tights, part of a pipeline of merchandise the athletic brand is introducing that’s geared toward women consumers.
TechFit Period Proof tights feature an absorbent layer designed to prevent leaks when worn with a tampon or pad. The new tights were two years in the making.
“The launch is part of our roadmap of innovations coming out this year to better service all women in sport under the long-term Watch Us Move campaign; a commitment to revolutionizing our product offering and services to better support the needs of our diverse female community,” Adidas
said in a statement (emphasis theirs).
Adidas cites data showing that 1 in 4 girls around the world drops out of sports during adolescence, with 65% of those who menstruate citing “leaking” as the top concern.
The company is also working with experts to craft educational materials on the topic of menstruation.
The global market for period-proof underwear is forecast to reach $1.3 billion by 2026, according to data provided by Vogue Business. Thinx, Knix and Modibodi are among the big names in the category.
Last week, Adidas launched its first full-cover swim line designed for women athletes seeking more modest swimwear for cultural or other reasons. The launch was part of a more inclusive message about swimming aimed at all women and diverse bodies.
Adidas will face tough competition in its efforts to reach women consumers. Nike Inc.
has also turned its focus to growing its business among women consumers.
During Nike’s most recent third-quarter earnings, the company noted the near triple-digit growth of its Jordan women’s business, and the launch of the React Escape shoe, which was designed for women runners.
“We’re going to be accelerating investment in Q4 against our biggest growth opportunities, women’s,” said Matthew Friend, Nike’s chief financial officer, on the earnings call, according to a FactSet transcript.
The Jordan brand and digital were other areas cited for investment.
Nike is scheduled to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on June 24.
Under Armour Inc.
also discussed its women’s business during its first-quarter earnings announcement in May.
“[A]s we came into 2020, our women’s business started to show meaningful improvement,” said Patrik Frisk, chief executive of Under Armour, according to a FactSet transcript of the call.
“And a lot of that I would attribute to better product, better communication, better marketing.”
The focus on women athletes from companies also comes at a time when tournaments that are meant to showcase and celebrate women’s athletic abilities have faced scrutiny and backlash.
The N.C.A.A. apologized in March over unequal facilities during the championship tournaments for men and women.
Adidas stock has slipped 1.6% for the year to date, Nike is down 8% and Under Armour has gained 20%.
The benchmark S&P 500 index
has rallied 13% for 2021 so far.