The Adidas Story

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Adidas is one of the world’s most iconic sports companies. They specialize in the production of a plethora of sporting goods, but are most popular for their apparel and shoes. The company along with its designers acquired over 700 patents for their products.

No, they didn’t START with RUN-DMC (thought some would consider that their launching point in the Hip-Hop scene)

This Adidas is a German sports footwear and apparel manufacturer and is the parent company for many other reputed brands that had come out from its factory (like: Reebok, Rockport, and Ashworth)

The Adidas Company started as a very small operation by Adolf after the end of World War I.  Adolf was a German soldier that returned to his hometown in Bavaria, Germany.  Bavaria was known for their shoe making, so it was  no surprise when young Adolf (not “that” Adolf) decided to be a cobbler.

Adolf started his work making shoes in the laundry shed.  At first, he made work shoes for himself out of the leather scraps from the wartime army, helmets and various gear. But soon, his ideas shifted towards athletic footwear.

Adolf started to make shoes for his friends and regularly improved his designs by getting the ideas for innovation from his friends. Soon his reputation spread over, resulting in bulk orders that he could not manage by himself.

Adolf was loving what he was doing and decided to look for some innovations and new ideas. He took the suggestions from trainers, doctors, coaches and other athletes to enhance the quality of his product.

In Bavaria there was a village called Herzogenaurach that is located in 12 miles north of Nuremberg, Germany, is the place where this company took out its first step.

The first Adidas shoes were produced from canvas and Adolf, being a passionate athlete, was always having close conversations with sports participants. This made him better understand their expectations and improve his production based on those conversations.

In the year 1923, Adolf’s elder brother joined in the business. Rudolf looked after the sales side and Adolf engaged in the production of shoes. But it was in 1924, the brothers brought out their partnership formally by founding the Dassler Brother Shoe Company.

In 1925, Adolf (Adi) Dassler created Adidas as a small shoe factory, since Adolf realized the need for providing quality shoes for the best performance of athletes. Adidas started its production unit producing soccer and running shoes.

Even Today after reaching such a high level of brand success, Adidas continues to keep those (running and soccer shoes) as their prime products?

In the year 1928 – Olympic Games went on in Amsterdam. The athletes wore shoes from Adolf’s workshop for the first time.

It was in the year 1936, at the Summer Olympics, Berlin, Adidas brand drew international attention.

The reason:  Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals – wearing Adidas brand shoes.

After the chaos of the II World War – Adolf started a new beginning. In 1947, Adolf was employing 47 workers, trying to run with the rapid growth in sports and striving to optimize its products.

The two founding brothers had their disagreements before the year of 1948.  But that was the year when things became too tumultuous for them to continue together as business  partners.  They decided to split and continued to travel on the different paths.

Rudolf Dassler found a new company, which is also a worldwide recognized brand, it is “Puma”.

Adolf wanted a symbol and considered it as quintessential for his brand to gain the attention of the public. It was in the 1949 he used the symbol on the shoes first time. The idea behind this was that he wanted the public to immediately recognize his footwear while used in the athletic competition. The 3 stripes were used initially.

But later on, in the following years there was little transformation of these 3 stripes. It was also a part of innovation that the company had followed right from the beginning.

Adidas gained even more attention, when Germany won the Soccer World Cup in 1954. The German players wore the boots made by Adidas. In the mid of 1960s, Adidas started the production of apparel to meet the competition from rival sportswear companies. In 1963 Adidas began the production of Match balls for the sports events for various disciplines. In the year 1978, when Adolf was 78 years old, he passed away.

Kathe, the widow of Adolf and his son Horsh Adolf continued to run the company, taking forward the heritage and innovative ideas from Adolf. Horsh Adolf took the company to even great heights by his innovative marketing in sporting goods.

Horst Adolf passed away due to cancer in 1987 at the age of 51. But whatever be the situation, the company set its foot forward and kept on moving up in grid of sales and reputation
Adidas has its own motto –“Impossible is possible”. Taking this, they keep on moving forward, reaching great results and sure to praiseworthy as their growth is really appreciable.

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