To manufacture the official jersey of the German national team sold at 85€ by Adidas, a textile worker will earn less than 0,65€. At the same time, the three bands’ brand could spend over 1 billion euros in a sponsoring contract to outbid Nike’s proposal to the German national team.

Just a few days ahead of the Euro 2016 opening, the new report written by Basic for the French the Clean Clothes Campaign, Le Collectif Ethique sur l’Etiquette, unravels the economic model of major sport brands’ and analyses their social impacts on the working conditions in their supply chains.

In recent years, a relentless and heightened competition has been raging between Nike, Adidas and Puma. All three are engaged in a race for the domination of the global sportswear market. To increase their sales’ volumes, the key is sponsoring. Every year, contracts reach new peaks: the annual contracts signed with the ten major European football clubs increased from 262 million euros in 2013 to over 400 million in 2015.

To keep up with such escalation while continuing to innovate, Nike, Adidas and Puma are building new supply models aiming at continuously optimizing the costs of production through lean management systems initially developed by the automobile industry. The objective is to reduce systematically and as much as possible the supply costs, especially the labour costs. Little by little, they shift their supplies to Vietnam and Indonesia, where salaries are still way under the living wage level, in order to mitigate the rise of salaries’ in China.

The study points out that 20 years after the sweatshops scandals, workers still are the adjustment variable of the sport brands’ economic model. The study also attests the inherent contradiction between the sport brands practices within their supply chains and their often publicized CSR commitments.


In the French press:


On the French radio:


  • France Info:


Image à la Une : Découpe de la Nike Air Jordan. Source : Basta!, d’après les données du Basic