The Adidas Ethos: Sports and Fashion

Adidas is one of the most easily recognised brands in the world. Indeed, they enjoy a global reputation, with outlets in all for corners of the globe. Their popularity as a brand is unsurprising, they have the unique ability to create sportswear that is comfortable, enhances performance, protects sportspeople from overstraining, but with the added bonus that their clothing is also fashionable. This gives them a much wider appeal than to the sporting community alone, their popularity encompasses a much broader audience.

Many sports personalities prefer the Adidas brand; you simply need to look to their advertising projects to see that even the highest calibre sportspeople endorse the Adidas brand. In part, this is because Adidas celebrate sports, and sports personalities, for instance, they pay tribute to favourite sportspeople by developing lines of clothing named after some of the world’s greatest sportspeople. For example, the Adidas Beckenbauer track top is a tribute to the incredible German footballer, Franz Beckenbauer, who played in three world cups, 1966, 1970, and 1974.

These personalities would not endorse these products if they did not meet the highest specifications, which the Adidas brand certainly does. Adi Dassler created the Adidas brand during the 1920s (although it was not until 1948 that he chose Adidas as the company name). His vision was to create a line of sports shoes that would protect the player from the injuries and stress inherent with professional sports, this meant creating shoes that protected ankles, provided suspension, had a strong outer shell, and yet were also malleable and would allow freedom of movement. His vision continues to be the underlying ethos of the Adidas brand, and we see it in all the lines of merchandise that the company produces.

Over the course of the past two decades, Adidas extended their vision; they wished to create sportswear that was fashionable and appealed to a much broader audience. From this expansion, Adidas Originals was born. Cottoning on to the popularity of the retro fashion scene, Adidas began rereleasing lines that had long since stopped production. The Adidas Beckenbauer track top is a perfect example; first released in 1982 it has now made its comeback and is a firm favourite amongst many fashionable people.

Urban fashion fans love the Adidas Originals line of fashion, which the hip-hop and the Britpop community finding it particularly attractive. Amongst the Adidas fashion ranges, there are many accessories, that are geared towards fashion tastes, rather than sporting requirements: the retro shoulder bags, digital watches, socks, holdalls; these are all available from the Adidas Originals range.

As well as branching into fashion, Adidas have also extended their sporting appeal and now cater for a much broader range of athletes. Skateboarders, Skaters, Ice Skaters, Bowlers and Javelin throwers, can all find sporting accessories from the Adidas brand.

Soccer Fervor With the Originals Adidas F50 Shoes

The earliest Adidas originals were manufactured with the meagre materials available after World War I. Today, things have changed and eighty years later, the Adidas Company continues to make high quality fashion and sports gear. After Adi Dassler’s return from World I to Bavaria, he started making shoes with scrap materials, which he bought at very cheap rates. His brother, Rudi Dassler, became part of the business and the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory came into existence making the brand a name to reckon with.

Footwear for excellence

Today, Adidas remains the largest sportswear manufacturer in the world, despite its very humble and meagre beginnings. Adi Dassler persuaded US runner Jesse Owens to use his shoes for the Summer Olympics of 1936 and Owens went on to win four gold medals, making Dassler’s shoes famous. At the time, the shoes even made it to World War II. The company has always employed the most advanced available manufacturing technologies. They make shoes both for the athletic customers as well for fashion reasons.

When you wear the F50 shoes, your feet do not conform to the shoes, but the shoes work with your feet. This is one reason why the company is a leader in sports shoes design. Whether you are a weekend enthusiast or a professional athlete, your performance will be enhanced because your feet and shoes work in sync with each other for a maximum of comfort. For all athletes and fitness enthusiasts, Adidas has been creating innovative products like the F50 shoes for decades.

Footwear like the Adidas originals, Adidas Gazelle and the Adidas Samba have become stars in their own rights. These shoes are manufactured as passionately as the first pairs and designed to assist excellence on and off the field. They have received top grades from many athletes, be they beginners, amateurs or performance stars. The F50 is one of the latest types in a long line of successful shoes. Athletes employ them in their endeavour for excellence, because they know that their makers make quality one of their top goals.

Lightweight and great stability

The F50 is probably the most popular soccer footwear that has been ever made by the company. Though there may be many variations, the interchangeable soles, durability and lightweight features make it one of a kind. For a flat kicking surface they come with covered lace plackets and replaceable soccer cleats. The complete ‘feel’ of the ball is allowed with these football beauties, touted for their thin, but very hardy materials.

Newer varieties of the Adidas Samba, Adidas Gazelle and the adidas originals are also available to back the F50s, reinvented with ground-breaking micro fibre for a second skin fit. To aid kicking, they come with an ingrained traction material on the outside and inside of the shoe.

The latest Adidas F50 shoes have proved to be extremely popular because of the support they offer and their lightweight. It is due to the comfort they provide and their creative features that thousands of athletes the world over vouch for these shoes.

Adidas Originals – The Ultimate Sportswear Brand

Adidas, the brand was founded in 1949 and is named after the founder – Adolf Dassler. The brand is dedicated to performance and many sport legends wear them. The company has been a pioneer in the sports world at all levels for more than 80 years. It manufactures footwear, accessories and apparel. Today, this group is leading the sports goods field and offers a broad spectrum of products. These products are known for their performance and comfort. This German brand has also expanded into bags, eyewear and watches.

The company was later run by Adolf Dassler’s wife and son. The Adidas Originals is a design label that has the original styles of clothing and shoes worn in new style and creative ways. These include fashions for sports like Basketball, tennis, soccer, running and other outdoor sports. Adidas Originals credits the mighty athletes by their specific three stripe style and trefoil that is most recognizable all over the world. This label has made its presence in shorts, jackets, tees, polo shirts, and pants. They are available for both men and women.

The bags also display the same iconic motifs like their clothing and shoe lines. They are great with any casual wear for a day out or during travel. These bags are ideal for carrying all your gym gear and accessories for a sport practice. For any athlete or player, this brand’s products display a sense of style, and are considered to make a statement.

The brand always uses quality materials and care is given to every small detail. Functionality of the product is also pondered about for minor aspects like pockets, buttons etc. Many of us like to listen to music while in the gym. The clothing by this brand offers ample space for carrying electronic items that aid us in listening to music while working out. The shoes too are made with the best available materials that give a lot of comfort.

Uniqueness and style is the motto of this collection. This has tees and dresses for every occasion and mood. “Play to win” has been its principle on performance in sports. Their sports products are strong, natural, cool and smart. The Adidas Originals group is an inspiring sportswear line with a message that says, celebrate originality. It has been commended to become the sportswear of the future and caters to a large section of people.

The official website is also helpful in online shopping. They have intricate details of all the products with eye appealing displays. These are sold at affordable rates too. Some products need to have a trial period so that you can get a feel of them before purchasing. However, this option might not be available while shopping online.

Company Profiles – Adidas

In the 2007 Annual report, Herbert Hainer the CEO of Adidas discusses some of the issues of the previous year (2007). One of the issues is about the integration of Reebok. Two years ago, Adidas surprised investors with their bid for Reebok. “most (investors) agree that the deal will help to compete against Nike,” was one of the headlines by that time, as well as: “Warren Buffet will continue investing in Nike.”

Hainer responds to some of the concerns, like that of the flat sales of Reebok in 2007.
…major management changes at the Reebok brand, like that to improve the US distribution; even stopping supply to the brand’s largest customer where excess inventories had led to a significant decline in profitability… But the real test is still in front of us – making the Reebok brand more relevant to consumers. The brand needs simple messages that stick, and that’s why its 2008 products and marketing strategies focus on two important concepts – fit and choice. Reebok is striving to be the brand that “fits me”.

Reebok has sharpened its 2008 product offering by including 893 new fit initiatives throughout its collections … According to the report, sales will grow in nearly all other markets – especially Russia and China – where the brand took over distribution for the first time in 2007.

Another concern is the economic climate in North America which “has deteriorated in recent months.”
– Yes, economic conditions in North America have become more difficult. Nonetheless, I am optimistic we will outperform most of our competitors during this period of relative economic weakness. We are a regionally diversified Group, which is one of our most significant strengths… Today, we have a much broader distribution base and a significantly improved performance product and partnership portfolio in the region. Therefore, I am confident that the adidas brand will again grow in North America in 2008 – although it is likely to be at lower levels than in recent years. At Reebok … growth in this market in 2009.

About the performance of TaylorMade-adidas Golf in 2007 and about the priorities for this business going forward…
… strives to be the best performance golf business in the world. … adidas Golf sales of footwear and apparel grew at double-digit rates for the fifth consecutive year. Segment like-for-like sales, excluding the effects of the Greg Norman Collection wholesale business divestiture, grew 9 % on a currency-neutral basis, driven by increases in all major categories. For 2008, increasing profitability is our top priority. … We sold Maxfli because we now have all the know-how we need to be successful in the premium golf ball category. We are focused on growing our core golf brands: TaylorMade and adidas Golf.

About the financial performance in 2008 (after a solid 2007…):
… We expect high-single-digit currency-neutral sales growth – driven by improvements at all of our brands. Gross margin will range between 47.5 % and 48 %. And our operating margin will expand to at least 9.5 %. Through this strong operational performance, we will increase net income by at least 15 %.

In 2008 there will be additional costs related to the year’s major sporting events. And the company will continue with the share buyback program. Adidas will be able to deliver earnings improvement of at least 15 % -” marking our eighth consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth.”

Since completing the Reebok acquisition (Q1 2006) Adidas has reduced net borrowings by around EUR 1.2 billion. The financial leverage at the end of 2007 is 58.4 %. “We now have flexibility to deliver more aggressive shareholder returns.” Total dividend will be increased by 19 %, ” we will return more to shareholders in 2008 than ever before.”

It is interesting to see that Adidas is much to do about style. In the annual report, the executive board members do not wear a tie…There are four members, “each responsible for at least one major business unit within the Group:”

Herbert Hainer (previous with Procter & Gamble), joined adidas Germany in 1987, joined the board in 1997 and became CEO in 2001. He is also Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of FC Bayern M√ľnchen AG, Munich, Germany.
Glenn Bennett (New Hampshire, USA) began his professional career with Reebok International Ltd. In 1993 (thus long before the acquisition of Reebok) Glenn Bennett joined adidas. In 1997, Glenn Bennett was appointed to the Executive Board where he assumed responsibility for all Footwear, Apparel and Accessories & Gear Operations activities shortly thereafter.
Robin J. Stalker (New Zealand) joined adidas AG in 1996, Chief Financial Officer since 2000 and was appointed to the Executive Board, responsible for Finance, in 2001. In 2005, he assumed additional responsibility as Labor Director.
Erich Stamminger (Rosenberg, Germany) joined adidas in 1993. He served in numerous marketing positions before becoming Managing Director for Germany. In 1997, he was appointed to the Executive Board and became Head of Global Marketing in 2000. Four years later, he was named President and CEO of adidas North America, while maintaining his position as Head of Global Marketing. In 2006, he was named President and CEO of the adidas brand.

The organization is managed through three main Divisions:

AdidAs (69 % of Group sales). With Sport performance … to support athletes in all sports, the sport performance division is mainly focused on four key categories: running, football, basketball and training. “Engineered to perform.” Technological innovation and a commitment to performance are the cornerstones of this division. And with Sport Style the adidas sport style division is a leading supplier of authentic sports lifestyle products with its originals line.
… during 2007 the previous divisions sport heritage and sport style have been realigned into a single division
tAYloRMAde-AdidAs Golf (8 %1) of Group sales) With Taylormade … a leader in the industry and is the number one metalwood supplier. And AdidaS Golf
Reebok (23 % of Group sales). Reebok … an American-inspired, global brand that creates and markets sports and lifestyle products built upon a strong heritage and authenticity in sports, fitness and women’s categories. Other brands are: Reebok-ccm Hockey, and Rockport .