HANOVER, Germany—Two giants of German industry, Continental A.G. and Adidas A.G., 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. It is based on the firms' 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 recognized the parallels between them: “Tires are to cars what shoes are to runners—they form their only connection with the road and ultimately must be able to transmit all of the forces involved.
“It was not about simply maximizing 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 report said.
“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.”