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Adidas: Running the Extra Mile

The German town of Herzogenaurach was the place where Adidas was born, and where it remains today. Its founder created those three stripes known around the world today from an idea that got its start in 1925. This founder was named Adolf Dassler, called “Adi” for short – so the company is named for him. ADI DASsler, or Adidas. When Adolf Dassler began his work, there weren’t really any good high performance sports shoes, so he filled that need.

Today, Adidas is one of the biggest shoe sellers, in the world, supplying some of the world’s greatest athletes. They are more than just shoes today, but sportswear, fashion, and even fragrances. All of them are made with the same expectation of high performance that began with Mr. Dassler so many years ago.

The Starting Line

Adidas officially began in 1948. In those early days, it was not only Adolf Dassler, but his brother, Rudolf, who began the business in town of Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. Because their father was a shoe factory worker, the family knew a great deal about footwear and how to produce it.

After his time as a soldier during the First World War, Adi Dassler began to produce his own shoes in his mother’s washroom, and was later joined by his older brother, Rudolf. This little shop, run by the Dassler brothers together, became quite successful. In those days, in that part of the world, electricity was difficult to come by, which meant one of the brothers often had to run their equipment by peddling a stationary bike to power a generator.

It was Adi Dassler who first had the brilliant idea of using a famous athlete to promote his gear. He took some running spikes of his own design to the 1936 Summer Olympics, located in Berlin, and offered his product to the American runner, Jesse Owens. This was the first time anyone had ever sponsored an African American in such a manner. When Owens went on to win four gold medals, Dassler shoes became the thing every sportsmen had to have.

After World War 2, the brother split up. Rudolf Dassler’s new company would eventually come to be known as Puma, while Adi Dassler formed Adidas. The two shoe producers would become bitter rivals for the rest of their lives, to the point where Herzogenaurach’s two football teams each supported one of the brothers.

The company passed into the hands of Adi Dassler’s son, Horst Dassler, then to the French magnate Bernard Tapie in 1989. Tapie was famous for reviving flagging companies, and Adidas was having a little trouble after the death of Horst Dassler. Adidas began to enter its modern phase, branching out to sportswear, fashion, and fragrances. While still primarily about shoes, Adidas became much more to become one of the greatest companies in the world today.

On Track with Great Fragrances

As a company based on creating sports gear, Adidas creates sporty scents, as well. These tend to be bold, without being overwhelming, fresh and clear. The simply named Moves, for instance, is a woman’s fragrance that contains cedarwood, rose geranium, ginger ale, cyclamen, and sheer woods, for a scent both delicate and powerful.

Their perfumers are not afraid to be more subtle, however. Floral Dream, another fragrance by Adidas, is characterized by top notes of gillyflower and bergamot, rose and lily at its heart, and vanilla and tonka bean for its base.

Men, of course, are not neglected, in the Adidas fragrance lines. One great offering is After Sport, which has the sharp scents of mint and citrus mixed with cedar, and fruity undertones. It’s great for day to day wear.

Victory League, also for men, contains basil, pear, cedar, vanilla, lavender, grass, and bergamot, among other notes, giving it a natural scent and a subtly powerful aroma, imparting to it a certain gentle strength.

Still Going Strong

Whether perfumes, sportswear, or shoes, Adidas is an innovative company, just as its founder was, decades ago. They were the first to introduce a shoe with a microprocessor, in 2005, dubbed the Adidas 1. This shoe would adjust the level of cushioning in the sole so it would give the perfect support no matter where its wearer went.

Interesting and new ideas and product lines are what make Adidas one of the most recognized names in the world. As of 2006, they became the official supplier for the NBA. Today, Adidas is doing better than ever before, and the future looks bright.