Adidas: A Winning History

By John Akana
Wednesday - January 12, 2011
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By John Akana
Sales Representative for adidas-Pacific

People seem to ask me what I do a lot. I like to tell them that I get to play sports all day. If that doesn’t pique their interest, I tell them I work for the leading sporting goods company in the world, adidas, and my name is John Akana. I’m the exclusive sales representative for adidas in the Pacific. I’m very fond of saying the worst day at adidas is the best day at most other companies.

I grew up playing sports in Kaneohe just about every day of the year, and I haven’t stopped. Although I’m not a professional athlete, I have been fortunate enough to make a living and support my family because of the sporting goods industry and adidas.

Adidas was started in 1920 by Adolph (adi) Dassler (das) when he made his first pair of shoes at the age of 20 in his mother’s 20-square-meter washroom in Herzogenaurach, Germany. In 1925, Dassler and his staff were producing 50 pairs of shoes a day - last year we sold more than 11 billion Euros in shoes to our retail partners around the world. Dassler’s shoes made their athletic deput at the Amsterdam Olympic Games in 1928, with about 50 percent of the athletes wearing them. We outfitted more than 50 percent of the athletes at the 2008 Summer Olympics in footwear and apparel.

Nathan Decker, Darren Vorderbruegge, Kevin Murphy and John Akana

Jesse Owens won four gold medals in 1936 wearing Dassler’s track spikes, and adidas continues to lead and innovate in the running category with athletes like Tyson Gay or 27-time world record breaker and holder Haile Gebrselassie.

Germany became World Cup champions in Bern, Switzerland, with the help of Dassler and the world’s first screw-in studs, and adidas continues to lead and innovate in the world of soccer with the Adizero F50, the lightest soccer shoe ever made at 165G’s. You might have seen the 2010 World Cup champion Spain wearing them. It doesn’t matter what sport, adidas leads in innovation.

In 2011 we will launch the lightest and fastest adizero 5-star Football Cleat 6.6 ounce, adizero Crazy Light Basketball, as well as our adizero running line, adizero F50 soccer boot, and adizero tennis and training shoes. I get to work for and with people who love sports and live sports every day of their lives. The goal at adidas isn’t to be the biggest, but to be the leader. Everything that we do at adidas is to make athletes better, faster, stronger and able to compete at their best. It is with this passion and involvement that adidas has teamed up with Kraft and Times Supermarket’s Shop n Score program to donate more than $1 million in free adidas uniforms to high schools in Hawaii. Adidas is committed to our local student athletes like no other brand.

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