At the age of 20, Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler had a dream that one day every player in the world will wear his shoes while playing their respective sports. Edi was living in a small German town called Herzogenaurach. Edi started making shoes with his brother Rudolf in a small compartment. This was the base on which two great companies are standing today.
Adi focused on his customers to popularize his brand. Adi consulted players and made his products upon their advice and suggestions. Adi introduced spiked shoes in 1925. This launch started his special relationship with the field of sports and players because obviously nobody would go to their offices or school wearing those spiked shoes.
Dassler brothers started their manufacturing factory in 1927. Players first time wore Adi Dassler’s shoes in 1928 Amsterdam Olympic. Adi’s shoes become famous when Jesse Owens won four gold medals wearing Adi’s shoes in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. At the time those shoes were known as ‘Dassler’s shoes’. After the second world-war, Dassler fell into internal family dispute and Rudolf Dassler quit and started his shoemaking brand named ‘Puma’.
When Adi died in 1978, Adidas was making more than 4.5 crore shoes per year and the company was the undisputed king of the sports world at the time. Adi’s name was included in ‘American Sporting Goods Industry of Hall of Fame’ for his unmatched contribution in the sports world. This was the first time that any non-American received the honor. Dassler family sold the company in 1987 but Adidas is still well and alive. In 2006, Adidas bought it’s rival company Reebok for 11.8 Billion dollars. Today more than 50,000 employees are working for Adidas all over the world.
If anyone asks you in 1920, that is it possible to build an empire like Adidas from scratch then in all probability, your answer would be No. Edi Dassler proved everyone wrong by converting the impossible to possible. Maybe that’s the reason why Adidas changed brand tagline in 2004, ‘Impossible is nothing.