Saturday, August 14, 2010
This week I went to Germany to visit my son and later on to pick-up my wife in Paris. My son is educated in marketing management for sports related businesses (like sportswear) and he is a soccer fanatic, but also very uptodate on other sports.
In Germany he is doing an internship at adidas (1920), in the soccer marketing department, adidas HQ in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany, near to Nurnburg.
He is living in a small hamlet near to the HQ, but unfortunately for a young boy it is a boring place to spend your leasure time.
When we had our dinner together yesterday, he told me that he had an offer for a "student" room in the very center of Nurnburg, only 15 km from the HQ.
So we decided to go there today and try to come to an arrangement. Indeed he is accepted by the other students and can move into the room in 2 weeks, lucky him.
To celebrate this we had a nice Thai dinner near to his future room in the center of Nurnburg. It seems to be the oldest street in Nurnburg, very impressive houses, but unfortunately it was showering when I took the picture.
You might be interested in the history of adidas. Well of course you can visit their site or many other interesting sites, but to me the most important thing is what I felt when he showed me around in the area and especially the main "communication" building - for meetings, seminars, customer presentations and of course the "hall of fame", where famous sports men and women, who used adidas sports wear are portaited with their real old gear. And of course the founder of the company: Adi Dassler was portraited. It is an impressive company with many young employees and very relaxed to work for.
Adi (Adolf) started the company, being a shoe maker, with his brother Rudolf. However, after a family feud his brother Rudolf founded the Puma company (1948), which is just a mile away in Herzogenaurach. An interesting marketing conflict between the 2 brands was with Johan Cruijff and the dutch national soccer team in the seventies. Johan had a contract with Puma, the dutch team with adidas.
This story reminded me at a similar story with the 2 german brothers, who founded the Aldi supermarket chain, they also split up, but they both continued to use the same name Aldi. The feud this time had to do with a different business view on to sell or not to sell tabaco wear in their super market.
Be aware that adidas is written with a small "a" and Puma with a capital "P". The most recent marketing hype of adidas is of course the "Jabulani", the soccer ball designed for the latest soccer world championship in South Africa.
If you are around, I advise you to visit the big Adidas and Puma outlets in Herzogenaurach, where you can find gear for almost half of the price.