Not surprisingly, given the precarious state of the world economy, there has been much speculation as to how the recovery might happen. I say speculation advisedly. There is no economist or market analyst alive and working today who was around during the Great Depression. So everything is putative. Quants are looking for graphs to outline their predictions. The early discussions were around whether there would be a’ V’ or ‘U’ shaped recovery. Such descriptions given our times are too glib and lack the necessary granularity to be helpful. Next up, smart economists posited that the recovery would be more like the Nike swoosh. That had me thinking how the logo of the various training shoes might give us a sense and predictor of how the world economy will recover. Here’s my attempt to provide shape and colour to these discussions.


Adidas is a German sports clothing mega corporation and arch rival of Nike. Its logo suggests there will be 3 key phases in the recovery starting slow but building momentum. All up quite positive. The three distinct phases might indicate a slow emergence and maybe suggest 2nd and 3rd wave of the virus. Slightly concerning that the growth trend leans backwards!


Founded in Osaka in 1906 this Japanese company is renowned for its sports equipment and apparel. Their logo suggests a bit of a fudge. There is a Nike suggestive swhoosh which indicates a reasonably long slow recovery, but a cautionary note is thrown in for good measure with a scenario showing a bloodbath decline, followed by an equally ‘heady’ recovery. Mizuno are covering all bases here – clearly a committee involved!

Under Armour

Under Armour is a Baltimore based global sports, footwear and casual apparel manufacturer. New kid on the block, maybe they don’t have the resources of more established companies because it looks like only two people got involved with their modelling. A positive and negative mindset (or left foot – right foot) pairing I would suggest. Big U is a commonly held economic view but alarmingly another scenario is also offered – a big inverted U. My advice; buy now and sell before the second crash based on this scenario.


Reebok was founded in my old neck of the woods, Bolton in England in 1958. Like their football team, their economic outlook is a mixed bag. Two clearly think the economy is on the up but, as is often the case, the rapidity of this recovery is moot. The bleak third option is typical of many groups…there is often ‘that guy’ who dissents and wants their dissension mentioned in the minutes.


Nike provides us with the new global consensus of what the recovery might look like. It’s straightforward, reasoned and well communicated. That’s typical’s the Jacinda Ardern of  the predictions. Whether it comes to pass is still not certain…just like Ardern’s re-election! Let’s hope it’s not her last dance.


Another Japanese company this time one founded in 1977. The Japanese economy has been doing it tough for quite a few years so it’s not surprising that they predict a pretty rapid recovery, but then a reversion back to their ‘old normal’ of a stagnant economy.


Italian based sports clothing and accessory manufacturer founded in the 1940s, Diadora don’t give us much guidance. In their view it might go up, it might go down. Could have been written by a pundit in a horse racing form guide. A good each-way bet. At least they can never be entirely wrong.


Manchester based Umbro was founded in 1924. I take back what I said- this company was around before the big crash so we should pay a little more attention to what their logo tells us. It looks like it’s a circular future of sustained growth, correction, deep fall then recovery. If trading on the share market has been anything to go by of late the Umbro effect explains exactly what has occurred.


Kappa was founded in Turin in 1978. Is this helpful for mapping our way forward? Economic crisis, what crisis? Lets just get naked and take our minds off it. That’s where the smart money should go.

Stay fit!