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Adidas


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(established 1920)

This leading global producer of sports footwear, equipment, and leisure wear is widely recognized by its trefoil logo, launched in 1972, the more geometric performance logo introduced in 1991, as well as the three stripes that run across many of its products. However the company's origins were modest, with the first handmade training shoe being made by the company's German founder Adolf (‘Adi’) Dassler in the family home in 1920. The company's first shoemaking factory was established in 1927 and Adidas shoes were seen at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam in the following year. Tennis shoes were added to the range in the early 1930s and a second factory opened in 1938. However, it was confiscated by the Nazis in the following year and taken over by the US army after the end of the Second World War. Although Adi Dassler quarrelled with his brother Rudolf, who went on to create the Puma brand in 1948, the Adidas company developed a strong presence in the post‐war years with effective publicity campaigns. Its products were successfully promoted at succeeding football World Cup competitions and Olympic Games, including those at Melbourne in 1956, Rome in 1960, and Tokyo in 1964, where a significant percentage of athletes wore Adidas shoes. The company began manufacturing in France and, in the early 1960s, began to diversify into the production of footballs (1961) and tracksuits (1962), the first tracksuits with the characteristic three stripes being marketed in 1964. The company was also concerned to innovate, producing a number of key designs such as the Achille jogging shoe (1968), the revolutionary Torsion sole system (1998), and the Predator (1995). Association of the company's products with leading sporting figures continued to be a key part of its marketing strategy. Both Mohamed Ali and Joe Frazier wore Adidas boots for their world heavyweight boxing bout in 1971, the German World Cup football champions all wore Adidas products in 1990, and the French World Cup winning team of 1998 was also sponsored by the company. In the early 1990s the company was radically restructured, in 1997 taking over the French Salomon Group, a leading manufacturer of winter sports equipment. The company's success is highly visible today in the large number of people around the world who carry its logo on leisure wear, sporting goods, and equipment, whether or not they are highly active participants in such activities.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.


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