Every great story has a beginning. This one started in a small town in Bavaria, Germany. After first steps in his mother’s wash kitchen, Adi Dassler registered the “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” in 1924 and embarked on his mission to provide athletes with the best possible equipment. Gold medals in Amsterdam (1928, Lina Radke) and Berlin (1936, Jesse Owens) were first rewards and milestones – and only the start of our story.
Adolf “Adi” Dassler established a shoe factory along with his brother in 1924 and named it Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, which was later registered as ADIDAS on Aug 18, 1949. Today it’s has truly lived up to its tagline “Impossible is Nothing” having earned €14.88 billion and ranking itself as the second largest sportswear manufacturing company in the world in 2012.
Adi created adidas after realizing the need for performance athletic shoes. Adidas began small, producing soccer and running shoes, which ironically enough are still the main products that adidas is known for. Adidas has continued to gain momentum through the years. Many attribute this to adidas’ quality, styling and reputation. Adidas is currently the largest supplier of athletic shoes in Europe. Adidas ranks second worldwide, with their products selling in almost 200 countries. In 1994 alone, adidas sales totaled 3 billion dollars. In late 1995, adidas went public with its stock. It was a tremendous success and continues to trade internationally. Adidas posted an amazing 40% increase in net sales in the first half of 1997.
After the splitting with his brother, Adolf Adi Dassler took forward the company on his own sole strategies which eventually led to a fierce battle with PUMA. The company is believed to be named as an acronym of ‘All day, I dream about Sports; however, it is claimed it is again claimed to be an acronym of “Adi” another name for Adolf and “Das”, from his surname, Dassler.
A fierce rivalry ensued between Puma, the company established by Adolf’s brother. The brothers never reconciled. So fierce and bitter was the rivalry that although they were buried in the same cemetery, their graves were placed as far as possible. Despite the fierce rivalry with PUMA and other successful brands, Adidas is still blooming with different innovative ideas and strategies and is maintaining its repute against leading brands like Reebok, Taylormade Golf and Rockport brands. The slogan and the company both goes along with each other as it says, “Impossible is nothing”. For a number of decades now, the company is in harmony with sports figures and clubs. No wonder it has risen from sport figures to daily household images and general people. The sporty attitude and athletic prowess has been its identity right from the dawn of its establishment. It’s has grown with more innovative ideas and focused on creating brand awareness and other marketing strategies.
Figures like Zinedine Zidane, Michael Ballack and Allyson Felix have been associated with Adidas. Sports like football and other games like Basketball, Golf, Tennis, Cricket, Rugby, Skateboarding, and Gymnastics have barely gone without Adidas’s involvement. One of the main focuses of Adidas is football kit and its associated equipment.
Adidas supplies team kits for football teams and clubs of international repute like Bayern Munich, A.C. Milan and Real Madrid. Apart from that, the company’s strategies have also focused on more successful players, innovative public focused brands, and brand extension. Along with the football kits, the company also distributes referee kits used in international matches and club matches.
With over 1000 stores around the world, the company has risen to extreme heights of success. It has been successful in creating an influential marketing with advertising and other marketing tools. Its current slogan is “Adidas is all in”. The fact is that Adidas not only has become the image of sports fashion and attitude, but the has presented a unified image of sports, street, music, pop- culture, and other fashion statements, creating its own significant existence through its good communication strategies.