You wear tracksuits and sneakers only during sports. Right? But apparently, the Russians wear these sports gear almost every day.
Whether wedding or clubbing, you will spot guests wearing “the three stripes” almost everywhere. Compared to other brands like Puma or Nike, Adidas has a larger fan base in this country. But why do Russians love Adidas?
Russians love adidas for at least three reasons. They were not familiar with the brand since the 1980s’. So it’s still a craze for them. Moreover, the resemblance of the logo with the religious symbols makes it a sign of social unity. And, of course, comfort is another factor in loving the brand.
You have to dissect the behavior, history, and psychology of Russians to find the answer. The following article discusses the probable reasons to link a bridge between Adidas and Russians. Spare a few minutes and unveil the mystery yourself.
Why Do Russians Love Adidas?
Russians and Slavs have such an unconditional love of Adidas tracksuits that they wear the three stripes on every occasion possible. Introducing the western culture in the 1980s with this brand can be a reason behind its huge popularity in Russia.
However, several other theories justify why they are crazy for three stripes. All those speculations are based on psychological, historical, anthropological, and theological points of view. For example,
1. The Unification Theory
Experts have drawn an indirect connection between the Adidas trademark and the Holy Trinity.
There are huge clashes and differences exists between the Orthodox and Catholics. Trinity is the one element that bonds these churches.
Similarly, the Slavs hope that the Trinity will bring all the Russians together, diminishing all the barriers. As a matter of fact, it is a symbol of their unity.
The Russians have subconsciously linked the three stripes to the Holy Trinity and felt connected to the brand inherently. Mainstream psychologists think that the logo has favored Adidas as a hit in Russia.
The Slavs have become familiar with both Puma and Adidas at about the same time. Yet, their craziness for Adidas is at another level, and the brand’s popularity has never taken a back step since day 1.
2. Wood Rat Theory
According to Chinese zodiac signs, people born in July are tagged as wood rats.
The Chinese tradition describes wood rats as an outgoing and expressive persona. They can attract people with friendly gestures and have a happening life with friends, family, and colleagues.
Also, the wood rats achieve success because of their hard-working nature and luck on the top.
I know the descriptions fit any average Russian, and it is nothing but a fluke. Let me tell you another coincidence. The German brand Adidas started its business in July 1924, the month dedicated to the wood rat.
Asian and South scholars believe Adidas is a huge hit among Russians as the brand reflects their persona. In another sense, the Slavs feel empowered and more confident with the three-striped suits.
3. Cool & Comfy Theory
Now, you can link your fondness of Adidas to patriotism and an invisible character trail. Or you can enjoy wearing these three stripes and flex all you want.
Are Adidas Popular In Russia?
Adidas is tremendously popular in Russia. Here is an example to help you gauge this madness. Pick any random Russian stranger. It is highly unlikely that he does not own a piece of Adidas.
Let’s take another scenario. Play a Russian news clip. The chances are you will spot the three stripes at any point in the video. A closet full of Adidas sneakers and tracksuits is a common household thing in Russia.
The Russians admire Adidas, and also they are crazy about this brand. Pictures from Russia with the Adidas logo on a car, door, and even trimmed on a cat will definitely back my statement here.
It seems that the three stripes have completely taken over the Russian market and their lifestyle. Adidas was a direct hit right after it started business in Russia. The brand has now become a staple in their street culture.
So, it is foolish to ask whether Adidas is popular in Russia. Instead, let’s focus on why.
Why Is Adidas So Famous In Russia?
Nobody can say the exact reasons why Adidas is so famous in Russia. But yes, there is always some speculation about it. If you follow the string, it will date back to the Olympics in 1980, when it all started.
The then Soviet Union hosted the 1980s summer Olympics. During that decade, western culture was out of Russia’s league. Very few elite class Russians had exposure to branded clothes and western lifestyles. So, to the commoners, anything foreign was cool and sophisticated, whereas any Soviet touch was considered tacky.
During that cold war era, Adidas, the German brand, signed an agreement with the Soviet government. According to the contract, Adidas was the sole manufacturer and supplier of the Moscow 1980 Olympics uniform for the national team.
Considering the political position, putting the label of a capitalist brand on the national team tracksuit was a big deal for then Soviet Russia. Politicians were not so happy to see Soviet athletes playing in western clothing. But they were left with no other options as the textile industry of the east was nothing to be proud of.
The concerned authority did their best to keep the brand in the shade. If you look at the Moscow 1980 Soviet tracksuit or sneakers, you will find no Adidas sign or name. The USSR even had the brand modify its logo from three stripes to two, just for their national team.
However, this decision to welcome western brands had significantly influenced the material culture in both Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. The Russian public fancied the logo and the brand as they saw their national heroes playing in the suit.
As a result, the fame and popularity of Adidas spiked among the Russians within days. Eventually, the brand’s three stripes had turned into a sports mark in Russia.
Let’s peek at some popular Adidas tracksuits and sneakers in Russia.
Why Do Slavs Wear Adidas Tracksuits?
Generally, Adidas is famous for sportswear. But in Russia, you will notice people going out to parties or a grocery store wearing adidas bottoms.
A photo of a young lady wearing heels with these three stripes trousers went viral as a meme. But in reality, Adidas is just like another piece of clothing for the Slavs. The brand has blended into their lifestyle since after the Moscow 1980 Olympics.
You might wonder how all Slavs can afford Adidas. Well, they can’t.
In the 1980s, when the Soviet athletes represented their country wearing Adidas, the Russians went crazy for the three stripes. But unfortunately, the commoners did not have enough penny to spend on this expensive brand. Also, the Soviet and post-Soviet Russians knew a little about western norms.
As a result, the local garments started replicating Adidas designs with the three stripes. Besides the textile industry, other local manufacturers also took advantage of this popularity. They printed the logo on everything possible. From water mug to door, Adidas was everywhere in Russia.
There were very few people who could actually afford Adidas. All others went for the cheap copies.
About half a century has passed. Russians still love Adidas. Now, they have well-adapted to western culture, and more people can afford Adidas master copies. Yet, the replicas are everywhere and equally popular among the Slavs.
Those who can get their hands on original Adidas wear this brand because of the comfort and style. Of course, it is an indirect symbol of the elite class for them. On the contrary, the commoners wear the replicas to prove their status and not to feel left out.
Why Are Russians Obsessed With Tracksuits?
As an outsider, it might seem the Russians have an unhealthy obsession with Adidas tracksuits. Well, in reality, that was the case in the early 90s.
After the Moscow 1980s Olympics, the Adidas logo was everywhere. But it was not that time when Adidas tracksuits got their tremendous hit.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the mafias used to recruit retired sportspeople and wrestlers to pick up their fights. These muscle men were exposed to western culture and moved around the street wearing sports gear. Also, the Russian prisoners used to wear tracksuits for comfort and functionality.
In a sense, tracksuits had become the symbol of the street class. Eventually, the Gopniks started trying out sportswear to mimic the prisoners and gangsters. Three-striped black tracksuits became their uniform as Adidas was on the rise during those years.
But a lot has changed since then.
Slavs are now getting used to other brands like Puma and Nike. However, Adidas will never lose its position in the Russian market and will always be at the top.
Why do Russians love Adidas? The brand is cool and stands as attire for the upper class. Again, the Slavs have a significant history around the three stripes, which has brought revolutionary changes in their material culture.
Not to mention the theological and anthropological values that may have subconsciously attracted the commoners to this brand.