Adidas - a name that stands for competence in all sectors of sport around the globe. The vision of company founder Adolf Dassler has long become reality, and his corporate philosophy the guiding principle for successor generations. The idea was as simple as it was brilliant. Adi Dassler''s aim was to provide every athlete with the best possible equipment.
The adidas story
Adi Dassler makes his first shoe in his workshop in Herzogenaurach near Nuremberg in Germany. The shoe made of canvas was a training shoe for runners and cost two reichsmarks. Adi Dassler followed three guiding principles in his development work: produce the best shoe for the requirements of the sport, protect the athlete from injury, and make the product durable.
Adi Dassler develops the first special shoes for soccer and track & field. For the first time shoes with studs and spikes are introduced. He also constructs different shoes for the different distances and uses state-of-the-art materials to achieve a saving in weight.
Adi Dassler''s shoes are worn at the Olympic Games for the first time. Adi Dassler takes care of "his" athletes in Amsterdam and strives to optimize the respective shoes, working closely with athletes.
Adi Dassler makes his first tennis shoes.
At the Los Angeles Olympic Games Arthur Jonath takes the bronze in the 100 m in Dassler shoes.
The Olympic Games in Berlin are the sporting highlight for Jesse Owens. He sets new bests in almost all of the twelve events in which he competes. The black US-American is the most successful athlete in Berlin, winning four gold medals.
Adi Dassler''s range now comprises 30 different shoes for a total of eleven sports.
The first Adi Dassler sports shoes produced after the war are made using canvas and rubber from American fuel tanks.
Birth of the Salomon brand: a French family sets up an atelier in Annecy where they produce skis.
adidas is the most widely worn German sports shoe brand at the Olympic Games in Helsinki. For the first time track shoes with removable spikes are used. Emil Zatopek wins three gold medals in one week, in adidas shoes. He triumphs in the 5,000 m and 10,000 m and in the marathon. An achievement that has not been repeated since. The first adidas sports bags are introduced.
At the Olympic Games in Rome, 75 percent of all track & field athletes rely on adidas shoes. Wilma Rudolph, who suffered from polio as a child, takes the gold in the 100 m and 200 m and in the 4x100 m relay. To mark the Olympic Games, the "Rom" training shoe is launched. Today, this classic is one of the top trend shoes and is now being produced again in small quantities.
In Mexico an adidas ball, the "Telstar", is the official ball at a Soccer World Cup for the first time. Right up until the present day, all goals at major soccer events are scored with adidas balls.
The German team wins the European Soccer Championship for the second time, outfitted from head to toe in adidas.
At the Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles, 124 out of 140 nations compete in adidas. 259 medals are won in products with the Three Stripes. Ulrike Meyfarth wins her second Olympic gold medal (after 1972) in the high jump.
At the Olympic Games in Barcelona Heike Henkel takes the gold in the high jump. The first adidas Streetball tournament takes place in Marx Engels Square in Berlin. Considered merely a trend in 1992, Streetball has since become firmly established as a sport. Thousands of players compete to win in 3-on-3 fair-play games.
It is now 75 years since Adi Dassler made his first shoes. adidas sets milestones in the events scene. adidas attracts participants and spectators to its events in the sectors of basketball, Streetball, soccer, track & field, outdoor and tennis. Six years after the family-owned company was transformed into a corporation, adidas goes public. The adidas share is one of the most interesting new listings on the stock market in Germany.
In December Bonfire, the American snowboard apparel brand, joins the Salomon Group, bringing some energy and youthful influence to the group.
adidas has chosen 1996, the centenary of the modern Olympic Games, to celebrate past successes and triumphs still to come - symbolized by the concept "We knew then - we know now". This concept reaps rich rewards with gold medals by Donovan Bailey (Canada) in the 100 meters, Lars Riedel (Germany) in the discus, Nourredine Morceli (Algeria) in the 1500 meters, Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) in the 10,000 meters and Felix Savon (Cuba) in boxing. adidas equips 33 nations in Atlanta; 6,000 participants wear adidas, and adidas supplies products for 21 of the 26 sports. No other brand has been so closely associated with so many athletes in so many sports over so many years as adidas.
A new generation of adidas athletes symbolizes the innovative technologies and contemporary design of adidas products. This concept centres on an extensive communication campaign around the new basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, who already enjoys cult status in the USA as the youngest NBA player of all time.
Anna Kournikova in tennis, and David Beckham and Alessandro del Piero in soccer are just some of the other exceptional talents in their sport who are on the way to become the stars of the future, with adidas.
adidas announces the acquisition of the Salomon Group (with the brands Salomon, TaylorMade, Mavic and Bonfire). This acquisition creates one of the world''s leading sporting goods groups with a portfolio of outstanding brands. The name of the new group will be changed to adidas-Salomon AG. The complementary fit of the two companies is excellent, both in terms of products (sports footwear, apparel and equipment for adidas, winter sports equipment, golf clubs and cycling components for the Salomon Group) and in terms of geographic balance. Salomon has an especially strong presence in North America and Japan, while adidas is very well established in Europe. The new group becomes the second largest sporting goods marketer worldwide.
adidas signs a sponsorship agreement for the European Football Championships 2004 in Portugal, thus becoming the official sponsor of every major football tournament and event. Besides the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and the UEFA Champions League™, adidas is also already signed on as the official sponsor for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™. With the agreement, the company once again manifests its position as the world’s leading football brand.
Over the summer, the new JetConcept makes its successful entry into the swimming world when adidas launches this new bodysuit at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, an event also sponsored by the company. Thanks to small integrated riblets, the JetConcept reduces the drag a swimmer faces in the water. Ian Thorpe, the first swimmer to ever wear the revolutionary suit, wins three gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal.
In order to optimize its debt structure and financing terms, adidas-Salomon launches a ˆ 400 million convertible bond offering in August. The bond’s maturity is set at 15 years and is convertible into approximately 4 million shares of adidas-Salomon AG.
In September, adidas-Salomon is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) for the fourth consecutive time. The DJSI, the world’s first global sustainability indices, were launched in 1999 and analyse the performance of the world’s leading sustainability-driven companies. The repeated selection of adidas-Salomon once again proves the company’s industry-leading commitment in social and environmental affairs.
New partnerships are signed at the beginning of 2005: adidas announces its new role as the Official Sportswear Partner for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Additionally, adidas will outfit the Chinese Olympic teams for the Turin 2006 Olympic Winter Games and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. This agreement will be a powerful contributor to increasing adidas’ brand profile with consumers in the Asian market. Together with Chelsea Football Club, adidas also announces a sponsorship agreement which comes into effect for the 2006/7 season.
On May 2, adidas-Salomon AG enters into a sale and purchase agreement to sell its Salomon business segment, including the related subsidiaries and brands Salomon, Mavic, Bonfire, Arc’Teryx and Cliché, to the Amer Sports Corporation. The transaction is completed on October 19, 2005.
In July, adidas-Salomon AG and Porsche Design Group sign a long-term strategic partnership including licensing agreement. The objective of the cooperation is to jointly establish a hi-tech premium brand in the sports sector. The first products will be available in 2007 worldwide.
In the run-up to the Track and Field World Championships, adidas and Polar introduce the world’s first completely integrated training system. Called ‘Project Fusion’, it seamlessly integrates Polar heart rate and speed and distance monitoring equipment into adidas apparel and footwear. The products will be available in spring 2006.
adidas athlete Elena Isinbayeva makes history and becomes the first female pole vaulter to clear 5 metres. At the Track and Field World Championships in Helsinki, Elena beats her own world record by one centimetre. Other adidas athletes are also successful: Jeremy Wariner (400m), Allyson Felix (200m) and Jaouad Gharib (marathon) dominate their disciplines to become World Champions.
On August 3, adidas-Salomon AG announces the planned acquisition of Reebok. The combination of adidas and Reebok accelerates the adidas Group’s strategic intent in the global athletic footwear, apparel and hardware markets. The transaction value is approximately ˆ 3.1 billion.
For 2005, the adidas Group expects high-single-digit currency-neutral revenue growth. The Group’s net income is projected to grow at least 20%. On March 2, 2006, the 2005 full-year results will be published.
The FIFA World Cup 2006™ in Germany is just around the corner. Herbert Hainer expects sales in the football category to rise to more than ˆ 1 billion. adidas will use the world’s biggest sporting event to expand its global football market leadership and to dominate in the host country before, during and after the World Cup. adidas holds the rights as Official Partner, Supplier and Licensee for the FIFA World Cup™ in 2006, 2010 and 2014. In addition, adidas has partnerships with football federations such as Germany, the host of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, South Africa, the host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, European Champions Greece, Asian Champions Japan, Olympic Champions Argentina, China, Denmark, France, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago and Spain.
On January 31, 2006, adidas-Salomon AG announces that it has closed its acquisition of Reebok International Ltd. providing the new adidas Group with a footprint of around ˆ9.5 billion ($11.8 billion) in the global athletic footwear, apparel and hardware markets.
“We are delighted with the closing of the Reebok transaction, which marks a new chapter in the history of our Group,” said adidas-Salomon AG Chairman and CEO Herbert Hainer. “By combining two of the most respected and well-known brands in the worldwide sporting goods industry, the new Group will benefit from a more competitive worldwide platform, well-defined and complementary brand identities, a wider range of products, and a stronger presence across teams, athletes, events and leagues.”
The change of the name to adidas AG is approved at the Annual General Meeting in May.