Former Nike and Adidas executive Peter Moore dies

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Peter Moore, a “true legend” in the sports industry who helped reinvent Nike and Adidas, has died.

Details of Moore’s passing and any memorial plans were not immediately known Saturday. Having helped reshape the sports industry and influenced generations of creatives and executives, Moore and his career have had an impact.

An inventive brand marketer, Moore was a graduate of the Chouinard Art Institute. The bespectacled executive has left an indelible mark on two of the biggest sports brands by emphasizing the importance of savvy, insightful marketing and helping to push products beyond a simple pair of trainers. Together with his late business partner Robert Strasser, he established Sports Inc. in 1987. The company was acquired by Adidas AG in 1993 and laid the foundation for Adidas America. In the years before corporate media trained senior executives to relay brand messages, Moore had a direct and straightforward style of communication that never left questions about where he stood on an issue.

In a statement released Saturday by an Adidas spokesperson, the company recognized Moore’s contribution to the sporting goods industry as “a true legend and icon in our industry. It’s impossible to overstate the impact he had on Adidas. He will be greatly missed and his legacy will live forever.

The statement also noted: “The Adidas family is saddened by the passing of our dear friend Peter Moore. Our hearts go out to Peter’s family, friends and all who knew him.

After running his own design studio in the 70s, where he began working with Nike in 1977, Moore joined the brand as its first creative director six years later. He was instrumental in developing the brand image and products of the Jordan brand, including the Air Jordan One. He was also widely known as Creative Director at Adidas America, as well as Strasser’s successor as leader after Strasser’s death in 1993. After leaving Adidas America, Moore took over running his own creative consultancy. , called What’s Ya Think Inc.?

A specialist in branding, Moore created several logos for Nike and Adidas, including the latter’s “mountain” logo, which was used for Adidas Equipment – the footwear and apparel collection spanned all disciplines, was inspired by the original approach of Adidas founder Adi Dassler and had the slogan “The best of Adidas.”

When the company started using email in the early 1990s, Moore urged employees in a memo to walk around and talk directly with co-workers rather than emailing or making phone calls. Despite being introverted, Moore understood the power of listening.

In the sometimes contentious debate over who should get credit for Michael Jordan’s landmark 1984 deal with Nike that led to Air Jordans, the Jordan brand and a multibillion-dollar business, former Nike chairman Phil Knight, credited Moore and Strasser as the deal’s MVPs in a 2015 interview with USA Today. Both executives were at Nike when the deal was made after Jordan left the University of North Carolina to join the National Basketball Association.

In response to that claim, Moore credited Strasser with being an MVP in the deal deciding that Nike needed a basketball icon, as the sport was about to become “a big, big opportunity. marketing”. The inner city kid was just starting to come into his own. It all makes a lot of sense now, 30 years later, but at the time Rob’s idea was considered risky, so we kind of just did it,” Moore said in 2015.

The former sports executive also named Sonny Vaccaro as the second MVP. But in the aforementioned 2015 interview, Jordan said it was George Raveling, the assistant men’s basketball coach for Team USA at the 1984 Olympics, who encouraged him to go to Nike. Raveling, who had a sponsorship deal with Nike at the time, then introduced him to Vaccaro, Jordan said.

The Jordan brand story – whatever it is – hasn’t lost its zeal with the public. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon recently announced plans to write a movie based on Nike’s efforts to sign Jordan to a sneaker deal.

In the fall of 1993, Moore became president and CEO of Adidas America, the American branch of Adidas AG. Retaining his role as the brand’s creative director, he took the top management job weeks after Strasser died of a heart attack aged 46 in Munich while attending a meeting international sales. After Strasser’s death, Moore said Strasser had “built a team in America that is committed to fulfilling its dream of bringing Adidas back. The development of a core group of running, basketball and men’s tennis shoes, as well as a limited spring collection of women’s clothing were among Strasser’s plans that Moore followed.

John Fread, who previously led Adidas America’s communications team, said Saturday, “Peter was an observant visionary. His creative genius lay in his ability to observe something, interpret a definition or solution to it, and then translate it into a design that was both visual and functional.

Moore is survived by his wife and three sons Devin, Dillon and Hagen.

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