History of Adidas

Topics: Adidas, Adolf Dassler, Reebok Pages: 16 (5779 words) Published: February 18, 2011
Critical Evaluation of the adidas group, in terms of its values, ethics and performance 1. Executive summary

The adidas Group is globally the second largest manufacturer of sporting attire, controlling almost a quarter (22%) of the market compared to the 33% currently commanded by its biggest rival Nike1. Although a multinational company, it was founded originally in Germany and thus its central headquarters are situated in Herzogenaurach, and home to more than 2600 workers2. Furthermore worldwide the adidas group employs approximately 40,000 people and has grown to encompass a number of other brands such as Reebok, TaylorMade and Rockport. Its growth as a company is also reflected in its product range developing from simple footwear to a plethora of goods such as eyewear, clothing and perfume. A measure of its success is that its Products are obtainable in nearly every country throughout the world3. The company is held in esteemed regard throughout the sporting world and its athletes, by producing sports footwear, apparel and accessories that are both innovative and of the highest quality. This reputation has been forged from a rich 80 year history of creating such products mixed with an undesired passion for sport and its culture3. For the adidas group to maintain this innovative mindset In modern times, they have to employ teams of designers, product developers and biomechanical experts at technology centres based in Portland, USA and Scheinfeld, Germany3. An important cornerstone of their strategy to continue to remain successful is to continuously strengthen their brands and products3. In recent times due to increased awareness of civil rights and the Earth’s fragile environment, this has led large multinational companies to place a large emphasis on things such as sound labour and environmental practices. Otherwise their brand would be tarnished, leading to a reduced financial performance and non-sustainable business. Therefore contained within the next few pages is a review of the overall performance of the adidas Group; in terms of sound governance practices and its integration of both sound business ethics and human values into the organisation2. 2.History

When documenting the history, success and ideology of the adidas group, it is obvious one man was paramount to the organisation, its founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler. His primary aim when establishing his then fledgling business was to supply all athletes with the finest equipment available, which he began to attempt to create in 19203. In 1924 he combined with his older brother, Rudolf forming the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). This partnership became quite successful as they began to equip a number of athletes, such as at the 1928 Olympics, thus laying a foundation for international expansion. The full potential of this tactic came to fruition when the great Jesse Owens strolled to 4 gold medals using their shoes, causing a great deal of worldwide exposure and hence increase in exports3. However the onset of the Second World War stunted the continued growth of their company and this was further exacerbated after a dispute between the brothers, which eventually led to both of them parting ways. Thus in the years following the war, Adi Dassler decided to make a fresh start and take 47 workers with him to manufacture new products. These were built upon both a strong previous knowledge and many new innovative ideas, and included many new innovations like making the first screw-in stud football boots. Eventually in 1949 he registered his company as ‘Adolf Dassler adidas Sportschuhfabrik’, or as it was more commonly known ‘adidas’3.

However Adi Dassler was not simply concerned with overseeing the manufacturing of sport shoes but was concerned with growing his company into a global brand. A vital tool in his quest to achieve this was to use media, TV in particular, to orchestrate and make the public aware of his product’s latest...
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