In the early 1990s, the company came dangerously close to bankruptcy, but it triumphed, and it has since continued to compete with other industry heavyweights for the top spot and released several famous models that have permanently changed how the world views footwear. In this post, we have compiled a list of some of the most interesting facts about Adidas
The German sporting brand continues to produce sneakers, clothes, and sports equipment. Adidas has a long and illustrious history after more than six decades in the business. The addition of Pharrell, Kanye, and Nigo to the brand’s roster has sparked renewed interest in the product.
To help you get up to speed, we’ve put together a list of interesting facts about Adidas that you should know but aren’t sure about. Check them out if you want to test your knowledge or learn something new:
1. A SIBLING RIVALRY GAVE RISE TO THE BRAND:
Adi Dassler and his older brother Rudolf began to clash after years of working together at the family firm Gebrüder Dassler. In the late 1940s, they divided the corporation and its assets into two distinct companies: Adidas and Puma. The feud lasted decades, culminating in a symbolic soccer match in 2009.
2. IT WAS THOUGHT TO BE CALLED ADDAS:
Adolf “Adi” Dassler, the company’s founder and namesake, wanted his brand to be dubbed “Addas” after he and his brother Rudi split up. However, according to Barbara Smit’s book Sneaker Wars, his registration was denied because a German children’s shoe company of the same name already existed. All it took was the addition of a single vowel to make a huge difference. Similarly, his brother wanted to name his new company “Ruda,” but it was deemed “inelegant and chubby,” according to Smit, so he chose “Puma.”
3. THE BRAND HEADED TO SPACE IN 2017
In January, Y-3 (Adidas fashion design label) and designer Yohji Yamamoto revealed that passengers on Virgin Galactic’s first commercial voyage to space (including Leonardo DiCaprio and Richard Branson) will wear Y-3 jumpsuits and boots. Leather and fire-retardant materials were used to prototype the one-piece suits and boots, and the Y-3 team will continue to test and develop the designs until the launch date, which has yet to be established.
4. ADIDAS STAN SMITHS HAS BEEN BANNED BY A UK SCHOOL:
The Stan Smith model has become a fashion standard, despite its sporting beginnings, however, pupils at Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton, England, are not permitted to follow that particular trend. Students were required to wear black leather lace-up sneakers for the start of the 2016 school year, which should have included the all-black edition of the Stan Smiths.
Parents were outraged because their children had been wearing the sneakers for months and the new regulation had not been implemented until the last six weeks of school. “We are communicating with individual parents to settle any outstanding issues,” the school said in a statement. “In circumstances of great hardship, the school will always offer assistance to parents until they are able to afford to purchase products on their own… We have high standards and expectations that we are proud of and seek to meet on a regular basis.”
5. ACCESS TO AN ONLINE ARCHIVE OF THEIR PRODUCTS IS AVAILABLE TO ANYONE:
Adidas created an archive in 2013 to provide fans with a more in-depth look into the company’s history. The site is more akin to an online museum, with images of antique footwear models, scans of vintage catalogs, curated exhibitions, and a wealth of information on the people and goods who have helped to shape the firm into what it is today.
6. DAVID BECKHAM HAS A LIFETIME ENDORSEMENT DEAL:
The former soccer star hasn’t played in a professional game since 2013, but he is still a part of the Adidas family—and will be forever. In 2003, he signed a lifetime deal worth $160.8 million with the brand, which was unheard of at the time. Beckham received half of the money up front, and now that he is retired, he represents Adidas as a brand ambassador.
7. MICHAEL JORDAN COULD HAVE BEEN SIGNED BY THE COMPANY:
Jordan wanted to sign with Adidas when he was picked in 1984, according to The Wall Street Journal. Suppliers wanted to make it happen, but bosses wanted taller athletes to represent the brand on the court, according to reports. Converse was willing to pay him $100,000 per year if he came up with new ideas, but he declined. Jordan was given a $500,000-per-year contract by Nike, which he went to Adidas to see if they could “get anywhere near,” but the brand declined.
Missing out on Jordan was—and continues to be—one of Adidas’s biggest mistakes, but the business also made some good moves. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the brand’s first basketball player to sign on, and tennis legend Stan Smith boosted sales by signing on and having a silhouette named after him. Hundreds of other athletes from nearly every sport and athletic event have signed ties with the company throughout the years. In 1986, Adidas made history by signing Run DMC to a $1 million endorsement agreement, paving the path for other non-athlete musicians like Missy Elliot, Big Sean, and Kanye West to join with the brand.
8. IN THE 1980S, IT DEVELOPED A SMART SHOE:
Counting steps is today a job for smartphones and gadgets, but Adidas came up with the idea for a sneaker with a pedometer sewed into the tongue in 1984. The model, known as the Micropacer, was discontinued in 1987, but Adidas reintroduced it in 2014 to commemorate the company’s 30th anniversary.
9. THEIR FIRST TRACKSUIT WAS SOLD IN 1967:
The Franz Beckenbauer tracksuit, named after the renowned German footballer, was the brand’s first foray into the world of clothes. The company’s athletic apparel sector produced nearly $2 billion in the first quarter of 2016, according to recent sales data.
10. SHOWER SHOES WERE CREATED BY ADIDAS:
According to the Adidas blog, the German football team approached the firm in the 1960s looking for shoes for its players to wear in the showers and changing rooms to protect them from the unpleasant things that develop there. In 1972, the Adilette, as it is now known, was released after a few design revisions. Athletes and dorm-dwellers alike continue to favor it.
11. ANOTHER BRAND PROVIDED THE ICONIC THREE STRIPES:
The three stripes are today synonymous with Adidas, yet they did not belong to Dassler until 1951 when he bought them from the Finnish shoe company Karhu. Two stripes were utilized at Gebrüder Dassler, so they were out, and four stripes appeared “too cluttered,” according to Smit. According to legend, Karhu sold the trademark to Adidas for €1600 and two bottles of whiskey.
The trefoil became the Adidas logo when it expanded into apparel. The trefoil is a clover-like plant with three-lobed leaves that matches the brand’s stripe design. Hans Fick of Nuremberg is credited with integrating the stripes into the leaf logo.
12. JESSE OWENS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST ADOPTERS.
Adi’s concentration prior to the founding of Adidas (which is commonly spelled with all lowercase letters, as opposed to PUMA’s all caps) was on spiked sports shoes, which were essentially early cleats with nails driven through the soles. Even though he knew German competitors would be wearing his spikes during the 1936 Olympics, Adi was eager to have phenom Jesse Owens test them on, despite the fact that he would be competing against them.
Owens was fascinated after testing on a third pair; he remarked that “he wanted those shoes or none at all.” The athlete went on to win four gold medals in a row.
13. THE SPLIT BETWEEN THE TWO DASSLER BROTHERS MAY HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY AN ENTICING MISUNDERSTANDING DURING WORLD WAR 2:
When his brother yelled, “the dirty b*****ds are back again,” alluding to allied soldiers, Adi and his wife reportedly ran to hide in his brother’s bomb bunker. His brother Rudolf, on the other hand, mistook him for referring to himself and his family. Eight years after the incident they split up.
14. THE MICROPACER WAS THE WORLD’S FIRST COMPUTERISED SHOE:
The Micropacer, a 1984 runner notable for its computer display across the forefoot, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The Micropacer was letting runners know their pace and calories burnt long before Nike started placing + chips in its footwear.
15. AFTER A PERFORMANCE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, RUN DMC RECEIVED AN ENDORSEMENT DEAL:
Although Run DMC and Adidas are inextricably linked, it’s fascinating to learn how they met in the first place. The band instructed the audience to hold their Adidas in the air while performing at MSG in New York. That is exactly what they did. An Adidas executive present was so taken with them that he gave them a $1 million endorsement agreement.
After years of being a distant second to Nike, Adidas is slowly but steadily reclaiming the youth market in the United States and throughout the world. The company is currently noted for its unique design and appears to be returning to its 1980s golden days.
One thing is certain: Adidas will never stop evolving, and we can expect a slew of new ground-breaking models to hit the market in the near future. Mentioned above, are 15 interesting facts about Adidas that any self-professed sneakerhead should know in this post.
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