But it’s not all about faster shoes and fashion statements. Just as there is more to a shoe than padding and foam; adidas is more than the sum of its products.
At the heart of the company is an extraordinary passion for the sporting lifestyle, carried by the dedicated men and women who work for it. And so, for adidas, shaping the sporting goods industry sustainably is more than a job; it’s an impulse.
A sports industry giant, adidas employs more than 60, 000 people worldwide, producing more than 840 million product units each year. But the brand grew from humble beginnings - and the cramped kitchen of WW1 veteran Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler.
Dassler began making running shoes from his base in Herzogenaurach, Germany, in 1919. In July of 1924, he went into partnership with his brother Rudolf. The pair opened a factory and the business began to grow.
In 1936 Adi drove from Bavaria to Berlin ahead of the Olympics with a suitcase full of spikes and persuaded US sprinter Jesse Owens to use them, the first sponsorship for an African American. Owens’ haul of four gold medals cemented the good reputation of Dassler’s shoes amongst elite sportsmen – one that still holds true to this day.