In an interesting exercise, CMDsport has pitted the top two sports brands against each other in a survey of 5,491 Spaniards who read its publications. At stake were the “emotions” that these brands inspire. The Spanish trade paper developed a list of 34 such emotions or perceptions and asked participants to check one of two boxes, both boxes or none of them.

Nike edged out Adidas overall in the top 10, winning on six emotions: fashion, success, admiration, happiness, victory and fun. Adidas took the remaining four: comfort, sportiness, satisfaction and health.

An interesting result is that Nike and Adidas seem to have completely different emotional profiles, with no overlap. The dominant note for Adidas is nostalgia, which, as CMDsport observes, can be positive or negative. Nike’s dominant note is success, followed by victory. These would seem to be entirely positive, but next come amazement, envy and aversion. Then things start looking up again with admiration, fun, fashion and adoration.

After nostalgia, things look bright for Adidas for a full seven slots: calm, sportiness, friendliness, health, comfort, solidarity and satisfaction. Things then take a dip into boredom before rising again to love. In CMDsport’s summation, Adidas is simply more “human” than Nike.

An almost equal number of respondents bought Adidas and Nike products in the course of last year. Men represented 77 percent of the panel, and they valued success more than the women, who picked health as one of the ten most important themes. Consumers aged 41 to 50 accounted for 41 percent of the respondents, followed by the 31-40 age group (25%) and the 51-60 age group (19%).