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Adidas Launches $1 Sneakers in India (27th November, 2011)


 

The German sportswear company Adidas will soon start selling its sneakers for a dollar a pair in India. The idea is the brainchild of Nobel Prize-winning micro-finance guru Mohammad Yunus. Despite a similar plan failing in Bangladesh last year, the project in India is to go ahead. Adidas boss Herbert Hainer said India was unlike Bangladesh because it’s possible to mass produce the shoes in India, where the population is booming. Mr Hainer explained what happened in Bangladesh, saying: “We sold 5,000 pairs during a test phase but we made only losses. The shoes cost us three dollars to make and we had to pay $3.50 in import duty.” He believes India will be a whole different ball game. “The shoe will be sold in villages through a distribution network. We want the product to be self-funding,” he said.

No details have been released as to when Adidas will start selling the $1 trainers. Adidas have revealed that its subsidiary Reebok will be responsible for the manufacture and marketing side of the campaign. The rationale for the project is for the company to get a strong foothold in what will be the world’s most populated country. Adidas bosses believe they can get India’s poor to replace their plastic and rubber sandals with shoes made by an iconic global brand, and that this will create a loyal customer base that will reap rewards for decades. It is not the first time India has been used as a testing ground for cheap products. India’s own Tata car maker already produces and sells the world’s cheapest car. The big question in the rest of the world is why Adidas charges $100 or more for its shoes.


WARM-UPS

1. SNEAKERS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Sneakers. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

sportswear / sneakers / micro-finance / mass produce / booming / losses / network / details / responsible / manufacture / campaign / iconic / rewards / testing ground

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. PROFITABLE: Can these things make money by selling them at $1? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Profitable?

How?

A computer

 

 

A restaurant meal

 

 

A bicycle

 

 

A mobile phone

 

 

A suit

 

 

A hotel room

 

 

4. SHOES: Students A strongly believe sports shoes can be made and sold for $1; Students B strongly believe that’s impossible.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. $1: Which would you most like to be $1? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • lunch
  • a book
  • shoes
  • a litre of petrol/gas
  • a cinema ticket
  • the Internet
  • a taxi ride
  • a watch

6. PROJECT: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘project’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Adidas has started selling $1 sneakers across India.

T / F

b.

The idea for the $1 sneakers came from a Nobel Prize winner.

T / F

c.

A similar project was a big success in India’s neighbor Bangladesh.

T / F

d.

A gut called Mt Hainer said people will use the sneakers in ball games.

T / F

e.

One of the companies Adidas owns will make the sneakers.

T / F

f.

Adidas say the sneakers will make people’s feet stronger.

T / F

g.

Adidas thinks the sneakers will make Indians loyal to the company.

T / F

h.

India has been used before to test cheap products.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

sneakers

a.

start

2

brainchild

b.

substitute

3.

go ahead

c.

stage

4.

produce

d.

disclosed

5.

phase

e.

asks

6.

revealed

f.

running shoes

7.

rationale

g.

manufacture

8.

replace

h.

thinking

9.

reap

i.

idea

10.

charges

j.

get

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

a dollar

a.

produce the shoes

2

it’s possible to mass

b.

base

3.

the population is

c.

be self-funding

4.

import

d.

side of the campaign

5.

We want the product to

e.

foothold

6.

No details have

f.

duty

7.

the manufacture and marketing

g.

ground

8.

get a strong

h.

a pair

9.

create a loyal customer

i.

been released

10.

used as a testing

j.

booming

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

The German sportswear company Adidas will soon start selling its sneakers for a dollar a (1) ____________ in India. The idea is the brainchild of Nobel Prize-winning micro-finance (2) ____________ Mohammad Yunus. Despite a similar plan failing in Bangladesh last year, the project in India is to go (3) ____________. Adidas boss Herbert Hainer said India was unlike Bangladesh because it’s possible to (4) ____________ produce the shoes in India, where the population is (5) ____________. Mr Hainer explained what happened in Bangladesh, saying: “We sold 5,000 pairs during a test (6) ____________ but we made only losses. The shoes cost us three dollars to make and we had to pay $3.50 in import duty.” He believes India will be a (7) ____________ different ball game. “The shoe will be sold in villages through a distribution (8) ____________. We want the product to be self-funding,” he said.

 

 

 

booming
whole
guru
mass
pair
network
ahead
phase

No details have been (9) ____________ as to when Adidas will start selling the $1 trainers. Adidas have revealed that its (10) ____________ Reebok will be responsible for the manufacture and marketing side of the campaign. The rationale for the project is for the company to get a (11) ____________ foothold in what will be the world’s most populated country. Adidas bosses believe they can get India’s poor to (12) ____________ their plastic and rubber sandals with shoes made by an (13) ____________ global brand, and that this will create a loyal customer base that will reap rewards for decades. It is not the first time India has been used as a testing (14) ____________ for cheap products. India’s own Tata car maker already produces and sells the world’s cheapest car. The big (15) ____________ in the rest of the world is why Adidas (16) ____________ $100 or more for its shoes.

 

 

iconic
strong
question
replace
released
charges
subsidiary
ground

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The German sportswear company Adidas ___________________ its sneakers for a dollar a pair in India. The idea is the brainchild of Nobel Prize-___________________ guru Mohammad Yunus. Despite a similar plan failing in Bangladesh last year, the project in India is to go ahead. Adidas boss Herbert Hainer said India was unlike Bangladesh because it’s possible ___________________ the shoes in India, where the population is booming. Mr Hainer explained what happened in Bangladesh, saying: “We sold 5,000 pairs _____________________ but we made only losses. The shoes cost us three dollars to make and we had to pay $3.50 in import duty.” He believes India will be a whole ___________________. “The shoe will be sold in villages through a distribution network. We want the product ___________________,” he said.

No details have been ____________________ Adidas will start selling the $1 trainers. Adidas have revealed that its subsidiary Reebok will be responsible for the manufacture and marketing ___________________. The rationale for the project is for the company to _____________________ in what will be the world’s most populated country. Adidas bosses believe they can get India’s poor to replace their plastic and rubber sandals with shoes made by an iconic global brand, and that this will ___________________ base that will reap rewards for decades. It is not the first time India has been used ___________________ for cheap products. India’s own Tata car maker already produces and sells the world’s cheapest car. The big question in ___________________ is why Adidas charges $100 or more for its shoes.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘brain’ and ‘child’.

brain

child

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • soon
  • guru
  • last
  • booming
  • pay
  • self
  • released
  • side
  • strong
  • sandals
  • cheap
  • $100

STUDENT SNEAKERS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Sneakers in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

SNEAKERS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘sneakers’?

c)

How important are sneakers to you?

d)

‘Sneakers’ is American English; ‘’trainers’ is British English. Which word do you prefer?

e)

What do you think of the $1 sneakers idea?

f)

Do you think the idea will be a success in India, even though it failed in Bangladesh?

g)

Why is India a “whole different ball game”?

h)

Do you prefer to wear sneakers or shoes?

i)

Do you think people will visit India just to buy the $1 sneakers?

j)

How can the project be self-funding?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think the $1 sneakers will be good quality?

c)

What do you know about Adidas?

d)

Why are sneakers called sneakers?

e)

Do you think the $1 sneakers will give Adidas a strong foothold in India?

f)

Are you loyal to any company?

g)

Why do you think India is used as a testing ground for cheap products?

h)

Should Adidas sell $1 sneakers all over the world?

i)

What is the answer to the “big question” in at the end of the article?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Adidas boss Herbert Hainer?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The German sportswear company Adidas will soon start selling its sneakers for a dollar (1) ____ pair in India. The idea is the brainchild of Nobel Prize-winning micro-finance (2) ____ Mohammad Yunus. Despite a (3) ____ plan failing in Bangladesh last year, the project in India is to go ahead. Adidas boss Herbert Hainer said India was unlike Bangladesh because it’s possible to mass (4) ____ the shoes in India, where the population is booming. Mr Hainer explained what happened in Bangladesh, saying: “We sold 5,000 pairs during a test phase but we made only losses. The shoes cost us three dollars to make and we had to pay $3.50 (5) ____ import duty.” He believes India will be a whole different ball game. “The shoe will be sold in villages through a distribution network. We want the product to be (6) ____-funding,” he said.

No details have been released as to when Adidas will start selling the $1 trainers. Adidas have (7) ____ that its subsidiary Reebok will be responsible for the manufacture and marketing side of the campaign. The (8) ____ for the project is for the company to (9) ____ a strong foothold in what will be the world’s most populated country. Adidas bosses believe they can get India’s (10) ____ to replace their plastic and rubber sandals with shoes made by an iconic global brand, and that this will create a loyal customer base that will reap rewards for decades. It is not the first time India has been used as a testing (11) ____ for cheap products. India’s own Tata car maker already produces and sells the world’s cheapest car. The big question in the rest of the world is why Adidas charges $100 or more    (12) ____ its shoes.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

a

(b)

the

(c)

by

(d)

of

2.

(a)

hula

(b)

guru

(c)

gala

(d)

polo

3.

(a)

same

(b)

similarity

(c)

similar

(d)

sameness

4.

(a)

production

(b)

product

(c)

productivity

(d)

produce

5.

(a)

that

(b)

by

(c)

on

(d)

in

6.

(a)

own

(b)

personal

(c)

self

(d)

spirit

7.

(a)

revealed

(b)

revolted

(c)

reveled

(d)

revolved

8.

(a)

rations

(b)

rationale

(c)

ration

(d)

rationing

9.

(a)

do

(b)

be

(c)

get

(d)

give

10.

(a)

poor

(b)

bad

(c)

poverty

(d)

debt

11.

(a)

earth

(b)

park

(c)

concrete

(d)

ground

12.

(a)

at

(b)

for

(c)

by

(d)

on

WRITING

Write about Sneakers for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about Adidas and Reebok. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SNEAKERS: Make a poster about sneakers. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. $1: Write a magazine article about the $1 sneakers. Include imaginary interviews with Indians who will buy them and someone who has to pay $100.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the boss of Adidas. Ask him/her three questions about the $1 sneakers. Give him/her three of your opinions on them. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

F

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

sneakers

a.

running shoes

2

brainchild

b.

idea

3.

go ahead

c.

start

4.

produce

d.

manufacture

5.

phase

e.

stage

6.

revealed

f.

disclosed

7.

rationale

g.

thinking

8.

replace

h.

substitute

9.

reap

i.

get

10.

charges

j.

asks

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a dollar

a.

a pair

2

it’s possible to mass

b.

produce the shoes

3.

the population is

c.

booming

4.

import

d.

duty

5.

We want the product to

e.

be self-funding

6.

No details have

f.

been released

7.

the manufacture and marketing

g.

side of the campaign

8.

get a strong

h.

foothold

9.

create a loyal customer

i.

base

10.

used as a testing

j.

ground

GAP FILL:

Adidas launches $1 sneakers in India

The German sportswear company Adidas will soon start selling its sneakers for a dollar a (1) pair in India. The idea is the brainchild of Nobel Prize-winning micro-finance (2) guru Mohammad Yunus. Despite a similar plan failing in Bangladesh last year, the project in India is to go (3) ahead. Adidas boss Herbert Hainer said India was unlike Bangladesh because it’s possible to (4) mass produce the shoes in India, where the population is (5) booming. Mr Hainer explained what happened in Bangladesh, saying: “We sold 5,000 pairs during a test (6) phase but we made only losses. The shoes cost us three dollars to make and we had to pay $3.50 in import duty.” He believes India will be a (7) whole different ball game. “The shoe will be sold in villages through a distribution (8) network. We want the product to be self-funding,” he said.

No details have been (9) released as to when Adidas will start selling the $1 trainers. Adidas have revealed that its (10) subsidiary Reebok will be responsible for the manufacture and marketing side of the campaign. The rationale for the project is for the company to get a (11) strong foothold in what will be the world’s most populated country. Adidas bosses believe they can get India’s poor to (12) replace their plastic and rubber sandals with shoes made by an (13) iconic global brand, and that this will create a loyal customer base that will reap rewards for decades. It is not the first time India has been used as a testing (14) ground for cheap products. India’s own Tata car maker already produces and sells the world’s cheapest car. The big (15) question in the rest of the world is why Adidas (16) charges $100 or more for its shoes.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - b

3 - c

4 - d

5 - d

6 - c

7 - a

8 - b

9 - c

10 - a

11 - d

12 - b

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