October 5th, 2011
01:50 PM GMT
Share this on:

Editor's note: Watch Frederik Pleitgen at Adidas headquarters during Marketplace Europe, on CNN International, October 20 at 18:45 GMT.

Herzogenaurach (CNN) – It is always good to see companies that live the philosophy they try to sell.

For German sports and clothing firm Adidas, that is an active, dynamic lifestyle. Enter the company's headquarters in Herzogenaurach, near Nuremburg in Bavaria, and the place looks more like a giant activity centre then an office complex for human resources and marketing departments.

There's a beach volleyball court, running tracks and even a soccer stadium that seats about 2000.

"We encourage our employees to be active during their working hours," a public relations representative told me as I got a tour of the place before interviewing Herbert Hainer, the company's CEO.

"The people need to get their work done," she said. "If they want to take a two hour break to play beach volleyball at noon, that is fine, and that is actually what will happen on any given day.”

Adidas staff have their own volleyball and football tournaments. Sometimes even the arch rival Puma, which is also based in Herzogenaurach, can get involved.

"Last year on World Peace Day, we had a tournament with the Puma guys," the folks at Adidas told me. When I asked who won they said it was mixed teams, with the CEOs of Adidas and Puma actually playing on the same side.

The entire Adidas headquarters thrives on the concepts of light, space and movement. The company recently opened a new flagship office building, called "laces," which symbolizes the laces of a sneaker and is supposed to show how the company is intertwined and can only thrive when all parts work together in synch. Here again, there is a lot of space and a lot of sunlight that penetrates the building and the offices.

Another way Adidas tries to promote corporate identity and a healthy lifestyle for its staff.

When the company from the small town of Herzogenaurach was growing too fast in the 1990s to keep expanding its corporate headquarters of the day, management had a choice to make: Move to a larger town like Nuremburg, Munich or even Berlin, or find something new in rural Germany. Adidas decided to stick with Herzogenaurach where the firm was founded. They acquired a former U.S. military base in the area and have since continuously expanded the premises.

Ask Herbert Hainer and he will tell you that this is far from complete. He points to some blue shipping container that used to house the marketing department. "We are in the process of taking those down, then we will set up more sports fields for the staff," he said.



soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. adidas

    They are one of the more popular shoes from the brand as they are all about fashion, flare and design. Many can attest to the fact that Adidas had carried and maintained a powerful reputation over the years in the world of sports apparel and gears.Welcome to visit:www.storeadidas.biz

    October 20, 2011 at 4:48 am |
  2. adidas_fraud_dept

    Do not visit the link posted above. It is not an adidas sponsored site. Visit http://www.shopadidas.com instead for the official adidas site.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  3. Jordan Sherman

    Hey guys, Might be the U.S. greater off sticking to Syria's Assad?

    December 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  4. icons download

    Rather quite good topic

    October 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm |

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About Business 360

CNN International's business anchors and correspondents get to grips with the issues affecting world business, and they want your questions and feedback.

 
 
Powered by WordPress.com VIP