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#109 Adi Dassler (Adidas)
February 3rd, 2020 | E109

What I learned from reading Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and Puma and The Family Feud That Forever Changed The Business of Sports by Barbara Smit.


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This story begins at a time in history when money and sports were still two separate worlds [0:01]

A family business struggling to survive / drafted into WWI / Adi Dassler’s EXTREME resourcefulness and personality / [3:15]

Early distribution and marketing of sports shoes [10:06]

The Dassler Brothers were opposites: Adi was the quiet craftsman with soul in the game. Rudolf was ostentatious and loud. [12:46]

The chronicle and biography of Adi Dassler: A story about someone obsessed with making high quality products [14:00]

Was Adi Dassler a Nazi? / My experience with the totalitarianism of the Castro regime / tearing up thinking of having to risk the lives of your children [24:30]

Adi Dassler reminds me of Henry Royce [29:30]

The difficulties of building a business during World War II [32:15]

Adi starting over at the age of 46 / How the Adidas stripes came about [38:15]

Athletes start requesting bribes to wear Adidas / How the payoffs happened [46:00]

Breaking into a new market was a slow, labor intensive process [50:45]

While Adidas and Puma are distracted fighting each other, opportunity opens up for Phil Knight and Nike / pursue your crazy idea / famous last words: “it’s just a toy”, “jogging isn’t a real sport”, “Nike is not a threat because we have more demand than we could service” [55:05]

If you have a business that makes you miserable, somewhere along the line you lost the plot. [1:06:45]

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