Ina Heumann
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Putting together adidas’ history in one book (Guest Post)

Putting together adidas’ history in one book (Guest Post)

“The story as told by those who have lived and are living it” (Series – Part 2)

My name is Peter Moore – the team calls me affectionately “Godfather”. As Ina told you in her post about our brand-book project which is summarized by the caption “The story as told by those who have lived and are living it”, I was in charge to come up with a concept for the book. It does have the goal of putting together the history of adidas. Why I was chosen for this wonderful task? Probably my background helped a lot…

A rival coming to the lion’s den

The adidas headquarters in 1989

The adidas headquarters in 1989 with the giant spinning Trefoil

My first trip to adidas was in November of 1989. We, Rob Strasser and I, were invited by adidas to Germany to see the company and to have a conversation about what we might do to help the then struggling brand. Having just left Nike in 1987, where we had spent many hours plotting against adidas, neither one of us was quite sure what to expect.

I can remember driving from Munich to Herzogenaurach, getting off the autobahn, and wondering where were we, and how were we going to find adidas? Then we saw it, the giant Trefoil spinning above the headquarters building, and I thought we can’t be here, we have to get out of here! But we didn’t, and what we found back then the next day was a fantastic brand covered in self-doubt and uncertainty. Fortunately this changed in the meantime.

Adi Dassler so impressed me that, in spite of the situation, we could not help but get involved, which we did when we introduced the Equipment concept as a way back to the heritage of Mr. Dassler. I was the first creative director at Nike, before I left and became the same with adidas in the early 90’s. Upon the death of Rob Strasser I became transitionally the CEO of adidas America for a short time until Steve Wynne took over, and I returned to being the Global Creative Director. In 1998 I left adidas and pursued my life’s ambition of printmaking that I still do today. In 2000 I was approached by Mr. Stamminger (member of the adidas Group board and responsible for Global Brands) about becoming an adidas brand consultant, which I happily agreed to, and that is what I still do today for adidas. Finally, the reason I am the “Godfather” of this project is simply because I am, by far, the oldest person on this project (and most every adidas project I work on).

Why the story is not told by the company itself

Quote by Peter Moore

Peter Moore

On my very first visit to Herzogenaurach I was somewhat surprised that there was no “official” adidas book or brochure or anything of the sort. The then Museum had a small A4 flyer that they gave us and that was it. Here was this famous, impressive, monster of a brand, and nothing? How could that be? Crazy! Needless to say this project has been long overdue.

So why nothing until now? It is my personal opinion that the family and thus the company was and still is very humble . It was not in their character or the company’s to boast about themselves and their accomplishments. They never spoke much about what they did, rather they spoke about what the athletes did. So really it isn’t that surprising that nothing existed.

This is also one of the reasons that in the book, the story is not told by the company. It is more personal than that: it is told by the people who were and are involved in it. Some of them are athletes, some former employees and some current, who are here right now. In doing this project this way, I think we end up with something that feels alive, rather than a bunch of dates and facts which are important in their own way, but nowhere near as important as the people this brand has touched and still touches every day.

 

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3Comments

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  1. It´s great to find this article written by the Godfather himself!
    I don´t know if I should call you “Mr. Moore” or just “Peter”, but the fact is that I have read a lot about sports brands history and I have to say that all the incredible things that you and your co-equiper Rob Strasser did in adidas and Nike really impressed me a lot.
    My name is Eugenio Palopoli and I live in Argentina. I am the editor of arteysport.com, a website about sports brands. I am also doing some serious research about all the major sports brands. I don´t want to cause you any trouble, but I would really appreciate to contact you and make you some questions about your work. That would be a great honor.
    Thank you very much.

  2. Frank Thomas (Moderator)
    February 9, 2012 10:56 am

    Hi Eugenio,
    It is great to see your passion for such topics! We forwarded your comment to Mr. Moore and we will get back to you via email as soon as we know more.
    Thank you! Best, Frank

  3. Thank you very much, Frank!