The Adidas - Reebok Merger

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR177
Case Length : 21 Pages
Pages Period : 1997-2005
Organization : Reebok International Limited
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : US, Germany
Industry : Footwear and Apparel

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be US, Germanyed as a basis for class discUS, Germanysion. It is not intended to illUS, Germanytrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note


The story of Adidas dates back to the year 1920 when Adolf Dassler (Adi) produced a handmade shoe fitted with black spikes. On July 01, 1924, Adi and his brother Rudolf Dassler (Rudolf) started a company under the name "Dassler Brothers OHG".

In the year 1927, the company enhanced its capacity by taking on a new factory on lease. The company's shoes made their debut at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. In 1930, the brothers purchased the factory and named it "Dassler Brothers Sports Shoe Factory." The company introduced tennis shoes in 1931. In the year 1935, the turnover of the company exceeded 400,000 Reichsmark.3 In 1938, a second production facility was bought in Herzogenaurach, Germany. In 1948, the brothers decided to part ways. By August 18, 1949, Adidas was registered as a company -'Adi' from Adolf and 'Das' from Dassler. Adi registered the "Three Stripes"4 as his official logo. Rudolf set up another sporting goods company named Puma.

In 1956, Adi's son Horst Dassler (Horst) promoted Adidas strongly during the Olympic Games at Melbourne. He also signed a licensing agreement with the Norwegian Shoe factory, located in Gjovik, Norway.

In 1959, Horst was assigned the job of establishing production facilities in France. A factory in Schweinfeld, Germany was started in the same year. In 1960, Adidas was the dominant brand at the Olympic Games held in Rome; 75% of the track and field athletes used Adidas shoes. Adidas stepped into the production of apparel and balls (soccer balls, basketball balls) in 1961and started manufacturing track suits in 1962.

The company launched its first jogging shoe called, "Achille" in 1968. The "Trefoil Logo" was introduced in 1972. The essential feature of the logo was three leaves representing the Olympic spirit, joining the three continental plates...

Excerpts >>

3]The Reichsmark was the currency in Germany from 1924 till June 20, 1948. In 1948, it was replaced by the Deutsche Mark in West Germany and by the East German Mark in East Germany.

4] The Three Stripes were originally developed as a means to stabilize the mid-foot. Adidas' apparel and shoe designs featured three parallel stripes of the same color, and it became the official logo of the company.


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