How Adidas Found Its Second Wind: The sportswear giant’s embrace of its heritage shows how reconnecting with the past can inspire a company’s future.

How Adidas Found Its Second Wind.
Nicholas Ind

n the case of Adidas, an important transitional event — record losses and near bankruptcy — pushed the company to reconnect to its past. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Nike’s rise gave Adidas a jolt. Adidas responded to these new competitive pressures by pursuing growth frantically in new directions. The company was distracted and lost sight of the capabilities that had formed the backbone of its earlier success. Adidas would later experience a resurgence in the market, but only after it channeled its heritage.

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