The adidas Group announced yesterday its 2011 nine months results as well as the acquisition of the outdoor specialist Five Ten. However, the 3rd of November 2011 was also for another reason a very special day for the adidas Group: Adi Dassler, our company’s founder, would have celebrated his 111th birthday. Adi Dassler and the legacy he left are still influencing the entire company strongly; and we always try to keep Adi’s mind-set alive and to dignify the long tradition our company has. After all, Adi Dassler perfected his natural passion for sport and his extraordinary creative instincts to build a brand that would help to revolutionise sports.
A commitment to Adi Dassler’s birthplace
The fact that the company always respected its roots is perfectly illustrated by the fact that it decided in the 90ies to keep its headquarter in Herzogenaurach, Germany. One might not believe that Herzogenaurach, a rather small town in Franconia, Germany, is the right place for a global player like the adidas Group; but eventually it is the place where Adi Dassler was born, where he started his business and from where he made adidas a globally popular brand – and this is what made adidas commit to “Herzo”, how we nickname the city here.
Adi Dassler registered about 760 patents in his name
Our CEOThe Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a company is the highest-ranking corporate officer and in charge of total management of an organisation., Herbert Hainer, sais about Adi Dassler: “His spirit is still here. Just an example: when we launched the Growth and Efficiency Programme, we were making it a point to bring at least one revolutionary innovation a year on the market. We may have wrapped it up in different words, but the basic idea remained the same principle as Adi Dassler had always followed. He always wanted to make something new, something that would help a sportsmen and women. I think he registered 760 patents in his name. That’s what we wanted to introduce into the company, this striving to make always better products that help athletes to perform better.”
The celebration of Adi Dassler’s 111th birthday
In order to celebrate Adi Dassler’s 111th birthday, yesterday morning adidas employees found a little present on their desks. A box that contained perhaps the most valuable part of Adi Dassler’s legacy to us: the adidas Brand Manifesto.
The Brand Manifesto consists of twelve brand attitudes. They talk about how to act upon, as well as how to think about some of these tasks. Most importantly, they tell us how we should think much more about today and tomorrow than about yesterday. The future lies ahead of us, not behind us. We should use our past for understanding our future, not dictating it. It is our focus for the future.
And then… someone said “cake”. When we went to the employee restaurant for lunch yesterday, every employee received a little, yummy cup cake.
I think this was a great idea, because finally it’s the employees who have committed their energies and their talents, their passion and their aspirations, to pursuing the unique legacy of Adi Dassler and who continue to use the power of the adidas brand to prove that impossible is nothing. Happy Birthday Adi Dassler!
What do you think: would Adi Dassler like what adidas is today?