60 years of adidas – the stories that still inspire us today adidas, one of the leading sports brands in the world, is turning 60 on August 18, 2009. It still seems an unlikely story: a modest shoemaker from a small rural town in Germany develops a range of sports products so original and so perfect that they are sought by athletes from all over the world. As he indulges his passion for sport and for innovation, he creates a brand as great as any in the world. An unlikely story, but not impossible. Impossible is Nothing. For adidas, it all started with shoes. Shoes to play in. Shoes to play better in. Shoes to win in. Shoes that, one day, would tread Wembley and Wimbledon, win medals at the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup™. Athletes would wear them, record-breakers, and champions. Today, adidas is one of the world’s leading brands, recognised and respected. Passion, authenticity, innovation, inspiration, honesty and commitment – that is what adidas means to us. But above all, it is the stories that made Adi Dassler’s idea and principle “no athlete left behind” come to life on the biggest sports stages around the world. Today, we would like to share some of our stories with you - stories of shoes, champions, recordbreakers. Stories of adidas.
The Decades 1949 – 1959 // 1960 – 1969 // 1970 – 1979 // 1980 – 1989 // 1990 – 1999 // Since 2000
1949 – 1959 On August 18th, 1949, Adi Dassler first registered adidas in the commercial register (Handelsregister) in Fürth (near Herzogenaurach). The official name of the company back then was “Adolf Dassler adidas Sportschuhfabrik”. First used in 1949, the 3-Stripes would not stay confined to their birthplace Herzogenaurach but started their victory lap around the world early on to become the most famous symbol and key identifier of adidas. It might not have looked pretty, but when you win three gold medals in seven days, no one cares about pretty. With his tongue hanging out while running, Emil Zátopek gained the nickname “The Czech Locomotive” during the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games due to this unique, and not very beautiful, running style. But choosing running fast over looking good was a good move as his unbelievable achievement, winning gold in the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon within a week, remains untouched until this day.
Originally developed in the 1950s for frozen pitches, the Samba quickly evolved to become the dominant indoor football shoe for players worldwide. With its distinctive toe guard, lower stitching on the side of the sole and shoehorn, leather lining in the heel, cushioned insoles and clips for laces, the Samba is not only one of the most recognisable football silhouettes in the world, but also a modern-day street classic.
We still refer to the 1954 World Cup as the Miracle of Bern for so many reasons: Germany, crushed after World War II, had more pressing matters to deal with than a football tournament in Switzerland. But in the end, it was exactly what the country needed. Facing the unbeatable Hungarians in the final, a victory seemed out of reach for the underdog Germany. Enter Adi. A close friend of team coach Sepp Herberger, he provided the players with a whole new boot made out of thinner, lighter leather and with screw-in studs. While the Hungarians struggled during the rainy final wearing heavy rain-soaked boots with studs too short to find a grip on the muddy field, the German team went on to score the game-deciding goal with more grip and a better feel for the ball. For Germany, the victory brought new confidence, for adidas and Adi Dassler the innovative football boots brought international recognition and a market leadership in the football business. Al Oerter didn’t “set out to beat the world”, according to his own words, but that was exactly what he did. Not once, but four consecutive times. Starting with the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Adi Dassler provided Oerter with custom-made shoes to...
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