Adidas is guided by the three principles which were laid down by the founder, Adi Dassler – to aim for the production of the best possible foot wear to serve the requirement of sports, to aim for the protection of the athlete from any possible injury and produce a durable product (Step back in time, n.d.). They company operates out of Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America through a network comprising of more than 170 subsidiaries. The organisation is headquartered at Herzogenaurach, Germany, employing over 31,344 people worldwide (Adidas AG - Financial and Strategic Analysis Review, 2009).
The journey for the company began in 1920, when Adi Dassler, with the aid of two shoemakers, produced homemade leather training shoes. A major milestone was achieved, resulting in superb promotion for the company, in 1932, when Arthur Jonath, a German athlete, won a bronze medal in the 1932 Olympics using shoes produced by the company. The company was on its upward spiral and soon the revenues of the company crossed 400,000 Reich mark in 1935. Sportsperson from 120nations used Adidas products in the Seoul Olympics in 1988. The company has seen many highs and undergone major structural changes in the way it has approached the market place. It has been quick to realize that marketing and customer orientation have become vital on the part of a modern company. The company has changed its entire outlook – which resulted in the creation of the three divisions - adidas Sport Performance, adidas Sport Heritage and adidas Sport Style from the existing Footwear and Clothing/Accessories. The company also decided to give its customers to option of customising the products they wanted to buy according to their own specifications – a business model which is now replicated all over the market space. The company went ahead with its aggressive marketing campaign and adopted a new tagline in 2003 -