adidas: An Original Is Never Finished

Dave Knies

It’s not often that main stream advertisements give me goose bumps, but when I saw adidas’ “Originals” spot during the 59th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday evening, the Trefoil that's been in my heart for many, many years swelled with pride.  

Not many know, but I started my career with adidas in Germany back in 1990. I was obsessed with the brand as a kid. Arriving to work on my first day in Herzogenaurach was an absolute dream come true. It was an honor to have been given the opportunity to work there.

In 1990 the company was beginning to rebuild after years of decline during the transition of ownership from the founding Dassler family, but the core and culture of the company was comprised of loyal employees whom had given their lives to the brand. I would often hear people describe their colleagues and endorsers by saying they "had a Trefoil in their heart" ("Dreiblatt im Herzen"). These old Meisters taught me the ins and outs of the business—from the factory floor to accounting and logistics, to controlling and exports. My focus, though, was primarily on the global soccer business. 

No matter where I’ve worked over the many years since then, I’ve always (quietly) cheered the success of the adidas brand - especially on the football pitch and when the brand returns to celebrated, successful Originals. 

Because an Original is never finished. 

Let me know what you thought of the spot. [email protected]