ERJ staff report (TP)
Hanover, Germany – Two giants of German industry, Continental and adidas, combined their expertise in tires and shoes to announce a "Rubber for Running" case study last week.
The 11-page study comprises facts, images, and interviews with managers involved in the cooperation, as well as quotations from professional marathon runners; and is based on their six-year collaboration.
Since 2007, Continental has supported adidas as a supplier of ‘Traction Compound’ soles for various shoes. Following an adidas project focusing on improving grip, a technology partnership was established, which has resulted in more than 80 different shoes being made available on the market, also helping professional marathon runners to break numerous records.
Both companies recognised there were parallels between them: “Tires are to cars what shoes are to runners – they form their only connection with the road and must ultimately be able to transmit all of the forces involved.
“It was not about simply maximising the grip properties across a single dimension, as running shoes require a certain degree of flexibility to prevent injuries. In the case of tires, on the other hand, the individual performance characteristics required on dry, wet, and snow-covered road conditions vary dramatically with the need to perform as well as possible while satisfying countless criteria and at the same time guaranteeing a perfect balance.
“The cooperation has proven that working together with leading companies from other industries can be highly beneficial in the long term, generating sustainable competitive advantages that would not be possible if companies restricted their activities to only their own field of expertise.
“Who knows whether the current marathon world record (2:08:23), achieved by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang during the 40th Berlin Marathon in 2013, or the previous world record (2:08:38) achieved during the same race in 2011 by his compatriot Patrick Makau, would have been possible without the premium rubber technology from Continental.
“After breaking the world record in 2011, Makau enthusiastically reported that he could really feel the grip that enabled him to accelerate around bends. And since the sale of adidas running shoes with Traction Compound soles from Continental has grown significantly since 2007, the cooperation can be seen as a real win-win situation for everyone involved.”
This is an external link and should open in a new window. If the window does not appear, please check your pop-up blocking software. ERJ is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Press release from Continental