In the race to beat Nike and upstart Under Armour, Adidas has realized that its headquarters—located in the middle of nowhere in Bavaria—are becoming an issue when it comes to attracting top talent. Reuters visits Adidas's campus near Herzogenaurach, a town of just 24,000 people, where most Adidas designers are based. It sounds charming—rolling hills, historic old town famous for gingerbread—but also a bit boring. Especially when compared with Portland, where Nike is located.
"It is so odd that this company is in the middle of farmland. It doesn't have anything to do with style," said a former employee interviewed for the article, who left because "they found living in Bavaria too boring."
Adidas even set up a website with videos extolling how great it is to live and work in Herzogenaurach ("Pretzels as big as your head!" is a direct quote). But while Adidas is planning to invest in its HQ campus with two new buildings and a fancy climbing wall, they are also moving key design positions to the US. Last Wednesday, Adidas announced that the company will open a small studio in Brooklyn to be led by three top designers formerly with Nike.
"We need a lot of that top talent that is cutting edge. Ideally, they are working in the tech industry, in marketing organizations or are coming from top competitors. We need an environment that appeals to them. Designers tend to gravitate to very large, international cities like Berlin, Amsterdam, London and it is a bit harder to convince them to move to the center of Germany," said Adidas's employer branding and digital recruiting exec Steve Fogarty.
· Adidas Is Based In The Middle Of Nowhere, And That's Becoming A Problem [Business Insider]
· Adidas Joins Rest of World, Moves to Brooklyn [Racked NY]
· Adidas x Pharrell Drops This Weekend, Includes a Stan Smith [Racked]
· Rita Ora's Tight Adidas Onesie is a Bad Idea Actualized [Racked]