German brand of shoes, clothing and accessories for all sports, together with Nike and Reebok, is a main player in the international market and dictates fashions. For the young generation, although by now this type of shoe has completely destroyed any kind of tradition, the Torsion model shoe has an added fashion value just as those of the English firm Church’s do for those over 50.
In half a century of life, this brand stood out as the most prominent during some of the most prestigious worldwide sports events. Born in Herzogenaurach, in 1920, and founded by Bavarian shoemakers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, the brand name of the company, Adidas, was registered in 1948 and comes from the contraction of Adolf’s first name (Adi) and last name; he was the older brother. A few months after this christening, Rudolf founded the similarly-named Puma. Meanwhile, the three-striped Adidas logo made its début in 1949 and was perfected in the trefoil symbol in 1973.
Adidas as partner of the Olympic Games and sports events
In 1956 several athletes wore Adidas the Melbourne Olympics. This date can be considered as the brand debut in worldwide sports events, acting as partner of many different sport champions. In 1971, as just one of many possible examples, Muhammad Alì and Joe Frazier both wore Adidas shoes during the boxing match called the “fight of the century.” Sixteen years later, the company was the official supplier for the Games. Moreover, Adi Dassler, died in 1978, was the first foreigner accepted into the Hall of Fame of the sporting goods industry of the U.S. In addition, Adidas is also a sponsor of the World Cup of soccer in Germany, in 2006, and of the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.
The brand acquisitions
In 1997 Adidas, with a workforce of 10,000 employees, took over the French company Salomon and changed its name to Adidas-Salomon AG.
In 2006, for 3.1 billion Euros, the German company purchased Reebok. The acquisition restabilized the sportswear market where, now, each of the leading companies (the other one is Nike) controls nearly a third of the sports apparel and footwear markets.
Partnerships and collaborations
In 2002, the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto was appointed Creative Director of Adidas Sport Style. Before arriving at his new post, Yamamoto worked for three seasons with Adidas Originals. His shoes were best sellers, with an estimated turnover of €500 million. The relationship between Adidas and Yamamoto became ever closer thank to the creation of a prêt-à-porter line Y3, completed in October 2002 and presented in January 2003, at Pitti Uomo. The line, first called Equipment, specialized in sports fashion and comprised 50 articles of clothing for men’s and women’s wear, and a line of accessories. After ending 2004 with record figures, an increase in sales of 3 percent (equal to 6.47 billion Euros), while profits soared 21 percent over 2003, reaching a level of 314 million Euros.
Another partnership took place in 2007, between Adidas and Porche Design, aiming to create a line in the sector of activewear.
Adidas is famous also for its technical and design innovations in the footwear section. Among them, the Torsion system, introduced in 1988; the Energy Boost shoes, unveiled in 2013; and also for embracing a more sustainable production chain, by the use of recycled materials.
The Berlin-Mitte Adidas Store
Berlin: opening of the first Adidas Originals store. With about 3200 square feet the store at the Berlin-Mitte is intended only for original collections of shoes and accessories and for special editions such as the Crystal Superstar, of which only 100 pairs were produced.