After World War I, Adolf Dassler started producing his own sports shoes in his mother's wash kitchen. He lived in a small town in Bavaria which was regional textile manufacturing center at the time, but during the early 1900s most of the mills converted to shoemaking. His father worked in a shoe factory, his brother started his own shoe factory (which will later become "Puma"), so he was introduced to the craft. He began making shoes using materials from old helmets, tires, rucksacks, and other refuse that he could scavenge. He even built a shoe trimmer that was powered by a bicycle. The company became very popular when German athletes worn their shoes in 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. Then in the 1936 Games, Jesse Owens won four gold medals wearing shoes made by Dassler family - it was the first sponsorship for an African American. Until World War II they were selling 200 000 pairs of shoes per year. After WWII brothers split up, and in 1948, adidas was officially created.
Puma is a company created by Adolf's brother Rudolf Dassler and originates from the same small town in Bavaria. The rivalry and animosity between brothers created a rivalry between companies. The whole town was separated on workers of adidas and Puma. They had different soccer teams, different schools etc. and it all started with two brothers.
Both companies were focused mainly on each other and the rivalry between them, that they missed out on Nike's breakthrough.
Nikeis is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. Buying Reebok made adidas the biggest competitor of Nike. Even though Nike still holds the upper hand in sales and sponsorship. Nike is the most popular sponsor in USA, while adidas is more popular in Europe and with soccer players.
Analysis of the strategy
The remarkable loyalty and persistence, that Adolf Dassler had, created one of the most popular brands of today. Three parallel stripes are well known to anyone who does any kind of sport. What started as a family business created two very famous brands well known for their quality and Adidas is on top of the sports apparel industry even today. Their target group of customers are those who play sports. Therefore main age is 20-29, and high school athletes 14-19 years of age. The key focus is on soccer, basketball, running and training. Their constant inclusion in sports is essential to a development of new technologies. Because of this long and cherished relationship with sports Adidas is present on the top levels of most of the sports like in NBA, Fifa, World Cup etc. and they also own around 10 % of Bayern Munich soccer team.
But what holds Adidas on top, even tens of years later is the innovation. The precise and brilliant hand of Adi Dassler shaped the company to strive to the highest scores in their production. Adidas is so well entangled with sports that its almost impossible to imagine playing sports without Adidas products. The brand is everywhere, so the athletes and sport fans simply have to be introduced with Adidas. Among different strategies, Adidas does not focus only on innovation in performance and marketing, but also on interactive and training products. Adidas Sport Performance, for example, focuses on the interactive products only and one of those is the world's first web-based personalized training service. If Adidas signs a Kit Deal in the United States similar to the one with Manchester United soccer team, they will stand before they biggest competitors. Adidas is constantly trying to distinguish their product from similar offerings on the market what created a special kind of brand loyalty. They are constantly delivering high quality to their customers and clients and with few affairs behind them, Adidas is on the verge of taking over the world (or Nike).