Adidas is the world’s leading sportswear brand, with some of the most expensive shoes on the planet. According to research firm Macro Trends, Adidas’ value as of January 2023 is $30 billion. However, before it became the billion-dollar company it is today, it was just a small shoe store in the family laundry room.
Adidas was founded by Adolf Dassler. Adolf was born in 1900 in the town of Herzogenaurach (Germany), in a poor family with 4 children, with a shoemaker father and a laundry mother. After finishing high school, he learned to bake cakes according to his father’s wishes. However, this is not his passion. So Adolf went back to learning shoemaking.
Outside of work, Adolf also enjoys sports. He participated in many sports, from football, boxing to skiing. As a result, he realized one thing that would later make Adidas successful: All athletes then wore the same shoes. Adolf thought that if he could design different types of shoes for each sport, people who wear them would have a great advantage.
In 1919 Germany Experienced a Terrible Economic Recession After
World War I. Jobs were increasingly scarce. However, Adolf did not want to give up on his dream. He converted the laundry area behind his house into a shoe-making facility. With the skills learned, Adolf made money repairing shoes for people in the area.
This gave him the time and resources Apparel and Clothing Manufacturers Email List to create the first specialized sneakers. One of Adolf’s first creations was the running shoe used in the stadium – an idea new to the sports field at the time.
Adolf was also very creative in the production process. For example, when the power supply is unstable, he connects the machines to the bicycle and asks an employee to pedal to generate electricity.
In 1924, Adolf’s brother Rudolf joined him. They opened a company, named Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. This is a complementary combination, as Adolf is good at making shoes, and Rudolf is gifted in sales and advertising . As the German economy gradually recovered, business quickly boomed.
In 1926, both had enough money to move the shoe factory to a new location. Here, they can make hundreds of pairs of shoes a day. The size of the company quickly increased and Adolf decided to expand production beyond the local area. He attended nearly every major sporting event and talked to athletes, persuading them to try on his shoes.
His Efforts and Determination Paid Off Many of Germany’s
Top athletes wore their shoes at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
Adolf always tailors shoes to try on the feedback of each athlete, to ensure they have the best product. He also made connections with the get CMB Directory to German track and field team, through coach Josef Waitzer.
This partnership not only helped Adolf get valuable feedback on the product, but also helped the brothers’ shoes be used by more athletes in the Olympics. At a time when athletes did not have professional sponsors, this was a breakthrough marketing strategy of the Dassler brothers.
Arriving at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Adolf decided to sponsor top athletes. He even convinced then famous American track and field athlete Jesse Owens to wear their shoes and was accepted.
Owens then won 4 gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, breaking many records, making the Dassler brothers’ shoes even more famous. Their company began to have a more international presence.