Sport is our way of seeing life
Step is the language of our sports story and our unit of measurement: retrace our most important steps in this timeline
Diadora was founded in 1948 in Caerano di San Marco, which today is a leading area globally for sports footwear manufacturing. At that time, it was a real workshop where the best hiking and work boots on the market were made by hand.
The change in manufacturing to sports shoes occurred in the 1960s after we acquired a few significant patents in the United States of America: Diadora instantly set itself apart for its superior quality and cutting-edge solutions.
The 1970s saw professional sports blow up and a new concept of sports marketing develop that led to the decision to hire highly appealing champions as brand testimonials. From Bjorn Borg in tennis to Giuseppe Gentile in athletics, as well as Roberto Bettega in football, Diadora helped write sports history during that decade.
For the first time, a line of sports footwear for leisure was added to our production of hiking and motorcycle boots.
Diadora was one of the first companies to conceive that famous athletes would be the best way to sell not only sports products, but also a performance dream. Thus, the Veneto brand began to cultivate important relationships with some of the greatest sportsmen of the time.
Our sports partnership with Martin Mulligan, the naturalised Australian tennis player, begins. Tennis soon became a key sport for our company, with us bringing the first shoes with a leather upper instead of a fabric upper to the market. Diadora shoes exceeded three million units sold in 45 countries worldwide.
We enter into a contract with Bjorn Borg, the Swedish tennis pro considered to be one of the best players of all time. The collaboration with the champion would give life to some of our iconic styles, which are still part of our collection today. In that same year, Diadora began developing new footwear for other sports, such as athletics and running.
Thanks to our meeting with Roberto Bettega – who wore a pair of Diadora football boots to the World Cup in Argentina – our adventure in football begins. Our relationship with Bettega, the first in a long line of footballers who would be linked to the brand, began in 1977, when the Juventus player was invited – and named – to be the Golden Athlete by the Veneto company.
In the 1980s, the company reinforced its presence in “historic” sports and expanded into other sports, such as cycling with Francesco Moser, basketball with the Milano Basket team, volleyball with Andrea Zorzi and the Italian National Team lead by Julio Velasco, racing with Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Niki Lauda and boxing with Francesco Damiani.
Diadora revolutionizes soccer shoes by inserting the colored fregio inside the white or black uppers. These were our first few experiments that would lead to a boom in the styles designed by Diadora over the course of the following decade, dedicated to both national teams and clubs.
Diadora creates a shoe style to celebrate Bjorn Borg’s five wins at Wimbledon. This was the B.Elite, in white leather with a golden fregio, an iconic Diadora style, which is a mainstay in every collection and universally recognised as one of our most popular styles for the last 100 years.
uring this year, Diadora was at Formula 1, on the feet of Niki Lauda, John Watson and the iconic Ayrton Senna, with the first fireproof footwear approved by the international federation. In football, our sponsorships continued to expand with Marco Tardelli and Zico, while Edwin Moses came to athletics.
In cycling Diadora develops footwear with nylon soles of different hardnesses and adjustable pedal cleat. Francesco Moser sets the hour record in Mexico City. In basketball, it's time for the sponsorships of Olympia Milano and its iconic player Dino Meneghin.
Diadora sponsors the Italian national football team for the first time. This is a collaboration that would continue until 1994 and began with the World Cup in Mexico. Many of the players on Bearzot's chosen team have been sponsored by Diadora, including Tardelli, Cabrini, Zenga and Galli.
The year of the Seoul Olympics, Diadora was increasingly involved in athletics, with athletes of the calibre of Ben Johnson, Sebastian Coe, Marlene Ottey, Gabriella Dorio, Stefano Mei and Salvatore Antibo. A young marathon runner, Gelindo Bordin, won the Olympic race and went down in history.
Collaborations with several sports champions made the Diadora brand the undisputed star of international competitions and led the company to establish the Diadora Research Centre in the 1990s. The research centre was made up of a completely innovative working team during that decade: footwear technicians, experts from the Milan Polytechnic’s Bioengineering Centre and doctors specialising in orthopaedics.
During the 14th World Cup, the Italian team made an entire generation dream thanks to the feats on the pitch of a playmaker with a ponytail: Roberto Baggio. In tennis, Jennifer Capriati joined our already varied portfolio of sponsorships.
Diadora-sponsored tennis dominated the 1992 ATP tour: Jim Courier and Boris Becker won the most tournaments (five each), while Jim Courier also won the most finals, which took him to the top of the world rankings to be named Player of the Year. We were also holding sway in football, thanks to the growth of champions such as Baggio, Maldini and Marco Van Basten, who won the Ballon d’Or that year.
In 1998, a eureka moment allowed Diadora to capitalise on the experience it had garnered in the sports market: Diadora Utility was established, the leading footwear and clothing brand in the safety clothing market. In the same year, the company was sold by its founders, the Danieli family.
Each passion leaves an imprint
The American World Cup brought unprecedented fame to the Italian national team sponsored by Diadora, and Roberto Baggio – who was crowned footballer of the year by France Football with the Ballon d’Or the year before – led the Italian national team into the final against Brazil.
The 2000s saw Diadora consolidate its success on the world sports clothing and footwear market through partnerships with numerous other athletes, many of whom have become icons in their respective disciplines.
Diadora invested in football once again by sponsoring AS Roma and by creating Hidden Power technology, one of the first base layer lines on the market.
Hidden Power: the seamless nature of the garments – along with a fabric of unique composition and distinctive structure – ensure humidity control, regulate the body microclimatic conditions, help reduce stress levels, improve oxygenation and guarantee maximum freedom of movement
Francesco Totti, after his miraculous recovery from a terrible injury, led the Italian national team to the World Cup in Germany. For the occasion, Diadora created a pair of modified football boots and a new carbon fibre shin guard for him. 3 World Champions shared the pitch with him wearing Diadora: Inzaghi, Barone and Barzagli.
Each passion leaves an imprint
Lir, the holding company of the Moretti Polegato family, the major shareholder in Geox, signed an agreement to purchase Diadora, with the aim of enhancing the brand's enormous potential. Enrico Moretti Polegato becomes the company's new chairman.
Nairo Quintana wins the Giro d'Italia wearing Diadora cycling shoes and we are also the technical sponsor for Team Ducati in the MotoGP. In Zurich, Daniele Meucci was crowned European marathon champion.
The historic in-house production line reopens in June 2015, after a painstaking process to restore the original machinery, which enables meticulous production and constant control by highly qualified staff. This reopening, which comes after the factory had been out of action for 15 years, marked the beginning of Diadora’s journey towards a more sustainable way of doing business.
The company begins to implement a series of responsible changes in its industrial practices, starting with a tracking of foreign suppliers, up to the transition to more sustainable forms of energy as power for its headquarters.
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