“The story as told by those who have lived and are living it” (Series – Part 1)
If you have read my profile you know that I started working with adidas in 1979, and have worked for some great people in various positions. It seems that doing this was the best preparation for the project I started three years ago: putting together the history of adidas. The project is all about “The adidas story as told by those who have lived and are living it”. It has been a great project as it has meant being able to work with some great people, meet some great athletes and listen to some great stories; too many “greats”? No! Just stay with us and you will find out more as you read about the people behind this project and the people we have met.
Why a brands DNA is important to its employees.
Inspired by the 60th anniversary of the official registration of the adidas name and trademark in 2009, we started the project to put together our company’s history for our employees. It is important for them in their daily work to understand our history and DNA. Why? Let me say it in a very easy but effective way and with the words of the former German Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker: “If you close your eyes to the history, you will be blind to the future.”Also: loyalty comes through trust and trust comes through continuously made positive experiences. If you train your employees about what your core values are and if you can prove that the company always acted upon these values, they will have trust in their employer.
Identify key-players for the project
If you want to succeed in such a project a key thing to do is identifying the key-players and to build a team out of them – some members of this team will talk about this project and their experiences later in this blog. But the first challenge was to come up with a concept. The best person to do this was Peter Moore. Peter came to adidas in 1990, together with Rob Strasser, to introduce the adidas Equipment concept and he later became the adidas Creative Director worldwide. Today Peter works as a brand consultant. My boss Kadie Casey, Creative Director Brand Design + Events, is responsible for a consistent identity of the adidas brand. The creative agency for the project is Munich-based Melville Brand Design, with their Art Director Lars Harmsen. And perhaps the most important person: Keith Cooper, a British journalist, very well known in the sports industry. Keith spent months and months digging into our history, interviewing some 140 people who witnessed the adidas story first-hand. But most importantly he put the whole story together, which for me personally is still a miracle if you look at the amount of information Keith had to “digest”.
I am sure now you’re thinking, “Oh, I need to have this book.”… But we’re not selling it. As mentioned earlier, the book was made above all for our employees. But we still want to share some of the stories behind the creation of the book within this blog – so come back again soon and read more about it from Peter Moore….