A surging Adidas is 'causing panic internally' at Nike (NKE)

Nike may be getting nervous.

The position of the world's largest sportswear maker is looking more precarious with every quarter. As Nike's growth stagnates, its rival Adidas continues to post staggering US growth numbers and eat away at market share. 

Though Nike still maintains 44% of the US sportswear market, Adidas' share has nearly doubled to 11% from a year ago, according to NPD data.

Much of Adidas' growth has come at the expense of Nike brands.

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Evolution of Adidas sportswear
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Evolution of Adidas sportswear
1954. Photo: Hanns Hubmann (Photo by bpk/Hubmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Germany, Berlin: teenager in a sport shop looking at a gym bag by adidas - 8th July 1966 (Photo by Bernd Thiele/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
September 25, 1973. (Photo by Brauner/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
7th September 1977: Football and rugger shirts and balls with trainers and sports shoes. Puma, Adidas, All Star are some of the brands. (Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)
Singer Rod Stewart wearing an Adidas hooded tracksuit top, 1983. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
17 Apr 1996: A portrait of former USC Trojan and All American wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, the potential number one pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, taken during the press conference to announce his multi-year agreement with Adidas America, Inc , helda
Close-up detail of Adidas trainers and camouflage trousers, UK 1990s. (Photo by: PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images)

That's "causing panic internally" at Nike, Canaccord Genuity analysts wrote in a note to investors, citing industry contacts. The bank wrote that many Nike products have gone on sale in stores this quarter, and it cites poor performances from Finish Line and Foot Locker, which both sell a large quantity of Nike merchandise.

To make matters worse for Nike, investors continue to be concerned about the brand's innovation pipeline, which Canaccord called "stale." 

Nike's dominance is so great, it can afford to falter for a while before getting back on its feet. But it's only a matter of time before investors' patience starts to wane, according to analysts.

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