Running The War with the Dassler – An Inspiring Story

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After the First World War, there lived two brothers in a small German village of Herzogenaurach. Rudolf who was the senior was a salesman while Adolf nicknamed Adi was a baker.

Adi was an avid runner and was so passionate about a lot of sport. In 1920, Adi spotted a gap in the sport market and then decided to create shoes for runner. His guiding principles are make a perfect shoe good for each sport specification, protect the athletes from injury and ensure the product lasted. Born to a cobbler, Adi turned his mother’s kitchen into a shoe making workshop with his sisters cutting pattern for him.

In 1924, Adi’s brother who has experience in sales joined him and became responsible for the marketing of the shoes. They also registered the company and it became “ Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory”.

The business grew and the workforce almost reaches 100. The brothers are the first to use sport promotions for their products. Series of Olympic games come and go with the business getting stronger. But 1936 Olympic games in Berlin  their home ground proved to be the pivoting point of the business as Dassler’s shoes were worn almost by all the German athletes. Orders more than 200,000 pairs of shoes pouring in for the next three years after the games, making Adi to open another factory to cope with the demands.

Then came another big bang, the second World war . Rudolf and a lot of Dassler’s shoes factory workers were drafted into the army and the factory seized by the army. While the war lasted, Adi remain with the business, making booth for the German’s army. Meanwhile after the war, as communities were regrouping and rebuilding, starting a business is a very difficult one but Adi’s entrepreneurial spirit came alive again as he produce his shoes from parachute, tents, rubbers from the US war tanks etc. The business started growing again with a workforce below 50.

But there’s now a big problem, the brothers had become increasingly at odds with each other. This bitterness continues and in 1948, they split the company after another dispute. This marks the beginning of bitter rivalry between sport shoes makers.

Rudolf took half of the company’s equipment and started his own shoe making business. With Rudolf gone, Adi, ever the innovator thinks on another name for his shoe making business. He choose his nickname Adi with the first three letters of his last name and Adidas was born. The company was officially registered in 1949 and the now known three striped iconic logo was created to complement the name change. The company that Rudolf went to establish is Puma, Adidas fiercest rival.

Adi decided to focus on football shoes that year and the he created the World’s first football booth with rubber stud. The company is one of universal sport brand and had added lots of creative collections to their brands, making billions of dollars in revenue.

The moral of the story: There’s that big idea you have in your heart right now, give light to it. No power or forces can stop you when you fully step out to achieve your dreams. Obstacles might come but it’s those you allow to stop you that will overcome you. Mind is the man, it’s the seat of wisdom, it has tremendous power, but it won’t work just like that, it won’t work until you work it. Your idea might be the next generation big corporation, sow a seed of love and tenacity and stay strong. Do not despise the days of your little beginning, if you are Faithful in little, much will be committed in to your hands. Determination is one of the keys to success in any endeavour.  It’s the Dayss Ola Lee series. Watch out for the next episode and remain ever blessed.

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