How Adidas Came From Nothing To Something – The History 

We started in a wash room and conquered the world. And in-between, we have scored big and also, sometimes, struggled to reach our goals. We have done our best for the best. We have improved and grown. Looking ahead to the future, always remembering where we came from. This is our story.


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.



On August 18, 1949, Adi Dassler started over again at the age of 49, registered the “Adi Dassler adidas Sportschuhfabrik” and set to work with 47 employees in the small town of Herzogenaurach. On the same day, he registered a shoe that included the registration of the soon-to-become-famous adidas 3-Stripes. From humble beginnings to a global success story – which was accelerated by a miracle …


Adi Dassler died on September 6, shortly before his 78th birthday. The man who almost single handedly redefined the sporting goods industry and lifted the benchmark by a mile left behind a flourishing company. The end of one Dassler era became the start of another one: Adi’s son, Horst, with support from his mother Käthe, took over and – among many other things – continued to master his invention, the modern sports marketing.


If it is already in your DNA, why reinvent the wheel? After Reebok dominated the fitness and aerobics wave / movement in the 1980s with groundbreaking products and marketing, the company signs a long-term partnership with CrossFit, a core strength and conditioning program, in 2011. Two years later, the studio categories Yoga, Dance and Aerobics followed, and Reebok has been back on track to become THE fitness brand with the goal to empower consumers to be fit for life. Or should we say REEbecome?


Running changed forever. Big words. History will tell us if it is true. adidas introduced the Energy Boost running shoe which featured a completely new cushioning material. Created in cooperation with the German chemical company BASF, the material combines former contradictory benefits of soft and responsive cushioning for a running experience unlike any other. 


In March 2015, we presented the next five-year strategic business plan for the adidas Group. ‘Creating the New’ is the attitude that leads us into the future. Through sport, we have the power to change lives. We work every day to inspire and enable people to harness the power of sport in their lives. We also translate our competence in sports into streetwear and fashion because sport is an attitude and a lifestyle. Everything we do is rooted in sports. At the very heart of ‘creating the new’ are our brands. Our brands are what connect us with our consumers; therefore, the success of our brands defines the success of our business. With ‘Creating the New’, we will get closer to them than ever before. To achieve that, our plan is based on three strategic choices: 

* Speed: We will become the first true fast sports company: Fast in satisfying consumer needs, fast in internal decision-making.

* Cities: We have identified six key cities in which we want to grow share of mind, share of market and share of trend: New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Tokyo, London and Paris.

* Open source: We will be the first sports company that invites athletes, consumers and partners to be part of our brands.


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