AKRON—At the tail end of March, Rubber & Plastics News kicked off our first installment of our Science in Sports blog. The goal of this series is to highlight different uses of rubbers and plastics in sports, because they are everywhere.
From safety components to the core of equipment to accessories, the sports we know and love would not happen if it weren't for rubbers and plastics.
For this second installment, I reached out to Alexander Bahlmann, head of media and public relations, passenger and light truck tires at Continental A.G.
Conti has been working with adidas since 2007, but it recently launched the Get Your Grip campaign. What I thought was so interesting is that when I started working for Rubber & Plastics News' sister publication, Tire Business, in 2012, one of the biggest comparisons that I heard was tires and shoes.
This was the first thing that really struck a chord with me because it was a simple analogy. A car depends on tires like a person depends on shoes. You need support, grip, comfort and much more for both shoes and tires.
When I discovered this new campaign, I was intrigued. After hearing this analogy so many times, it seemed like a perfect fit: a tire manufacturer and a shoe manufacturer.
“Everything started with a meeting of our compound experts with adidas experts and discussed about requirements tires and running (shoes) do have,” Bahlmann said.
After the first workshops, Bahlmann said “the potential to increase the performance of running shoes by designing specific rubber compounds according to the needs of different shoe segments was evaluated as rather high.”