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Success History of Adidas

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adidas word mark logo

"Impossible is Nothing"

Adidas is a company born of desire.  Adolf “Adi” Dassler had the vision of giving athletes the best equipment they could get. So, in 1920, using the scarce materials available after World War 1, Adidas came into being with their first pair of shoes in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

First known in 1949 as “Adolf Dassler adidas Sportschuhfabrik” and manufacturing as a private enterprise for about 70 years, Adidas became a corporation in 1989, after Adi Dassler”™s death in 1978.  His widow Käthe, his son Horst, and his daughters ran the corporation until April 1993, when Robert Louis Dreyfus took over as CEO. He initiated the IPO of Adidas in November 1995 and transformed the corporation from primarily sales- and manufacturing-oriented to a marketing-oriented corporation. In 2001, Herbert Hainer took over his place as CEO.
Adidas started in earnest in 1928, supplying some athletes with his shoes for the Olympic Games
jesse owens

4-time gold medalist Jesse Owens in his Adidas shoes

in Amsterdam. For the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, American Jesse Owens wore his shoes and subsequently won 4 gold medals. The company became famous world-wide in 1954 when the German soccer team wore boots with screw-in studs designed by Adidas and won the World Cup against Hungary. Since then, Adidas has consistently been a part of every Olympics and each and every one of their athletes has won medals or broken records.

The first company to use famous athletes to promote their products, Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali and Franz Beckenbauer were among those promoting the shoes. Positioning themselves to be noticed in almost every sporting event, Adidas made sure that its name was known to all those in the athletic world as the name that wins.
In the 1960s, Adidas ventured into sports apparel, branching out into ball production in 1963. Ever since 1970, the official soccer ball at all matches was made by Adidas.
The 3-stripe logo was first used in 1967. It was originally 3 parallel stripes in the form of a mountain to represent the challenges ahead and the goals achieved.   It was later a trefoil that incorporated the three stripes and represented diversity. The original “mountain” logo was revived in 1997 then was retired again in following the merger between Reebok and Adidas.   Adidas”™ clothing and shoes feature three parallel stripes, and this same motif is part of Adidas’s current official “Word Mark” logo.
After its initial successful IPO, Adidas merged with Salomon Group and formed Adidas-Salomon AG in 1997. A year after, Taylor Made split from Salomon and was joined to Adidas Golf. The next acquisition was Reebok in 2006, after the sale of Salomon and other related groups.
adidas wings

Heavenly Adidas Wings

Adidas now targets a younger market, spurring on a bevy of different products into the market.

ashton kutcher

Ashton Kutcher spotted in his Adidas Samba shoes

The consortium now manufactures a  wide selection of sports equipment, from its shoes designed for every sport ranging from track and field to football, tennis, basketball, and boxing and its latest, the highly successful ClimaCool breathable footwear, sports apparel with its famous three stripes for swimming, track & field, cycling, fencing, weightlifting and wrestling, footballs, tennis rackets, and swimwear and is also the official provider of apparel to the NBA, WNBA and the NBA Development League.

Drew Barrymore out shopping in her Adidas jacket

The fresh new designs attract such fashion icons as Madonna, ensuring its place as sportswear trendsetter. Other Adidas promoters come from all over the celebrity world, ranging from singers Missy Elliot, Katy Perry, and the Ting Tings, to rapper Young Jeezy, to street magician Dynamo and music mogul Russell Simmons. New sports idols such as Anna Kournikova for tennis, David Beckham, Zinédine Zidane and Alessandro del Piero, Raúl, Michael Ballack, Kaká and Rui Costa for football, Ian Thorpe for swimming, NBA stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming for basketball sign on to promote the brand worldwide.
After many inner corporate changes, Adidas has two divisions as of 2007. Sport Performance targets the serious athletes and Sport Style is designed with the lifestyle consumer in mind.

The 2010 "Triathlon" collection by Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney inked a long-term contract with Adidas in 2004, debuting the adidas by Stella McCartney high-fashion sportswear line in spring 2007.
Stylemaker David Beckham was next to sign on in 2007 to design his personal brand for Adidas, for which he was paired with his favorite designer James Bond of Undefeated. The next high-profile designer in the Adidas stable was famed fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, followed by Diesel to collaborate on adidas Originals Denim by Diesel.  Another Japanese designer, Kazuki Kuraishi released his Adidas Originals Kazuki Kuraishi, a futuristic, artisan chic collection in 2008. Adidas went on to showcase its Sport Style division at New York Fashion Week. Fashion forward Jeremy Scott currently creates and innovative, and sometimes unbelievable, line for the company.
jeremy scott

Jeremy Scott and Agyness Deyn playing around in their Adidas Originals

The latest collaboration is between Reebok and the famous Cirque de Soleil which produced the innovative JUKARI Fit to Fly workout and workout clothes for women aptly named On the Move and the Reebok-Cirque du Soleil collection for various fitness disciplines.


Out-of-this-world Skywalker shoes

The latest Adidas footwear offering, the Skywalker shoe, was launched with an Imperial March led by Star Wars character Darth Vader, complete with photo ops and special prizes for the first 50 customers.

“Impossible is Nothing” may indeed be the best slogan yet for Adidas, as it pushes to be the number one sports brand in the world.

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