Adidas has formed a formal partnership with Berlin-based leAD Sports & Health Tech accelerator, which is backed by the family of Adidas founder Adi Dassler and supports start-ups.

The partnership will focus on driving innovation in the sports and health tech space. This could include possibilities for identifying and researching promising areas within the industry as well as creating new opportunities for startup pilots and case studies, co-investments and product development.

“Adidas and leAD have very similar DNA. Both companies are built on a passion for sports and a hunger for innovation and tech – always pushing limits to innovate, striving for the best of the best, putting athlete’s needs on the center stage. That’s what leAD is all about. We are all about empowering the founders of tomorrow” said Christoph Sonnen, leAD CEO and co-founder.

leAD – which stands for the “legacy of Adi Dassler” – was founded in 2016. leAD is backed by the Adi Dassler family along with an exclusive circle of international investors with a foothold in the sports and health industry.

“My grandfather would be very proud of our work at leAD and even prouder to have this homecoming moment where we partner with the company he created,” said Horst Bente, leAD co-founder and grandson of Adi Dassler. “This partnership has a very important meaning for our family. Together, we’ll continue to drive innovation in this industry and empower the pioneers of tomorrow.”

Adi Dassler’s values remain the core foundation of leAD, as the company creates its own legacy. Since its launch, leAD has made 40 early-stage investments in the sports tech and health tech industry and is in the middle of running its fourth Academy program for early-stage sports and health tech startups in Lake Nona, an innovative living lab community based in Orlando, FL.

Adidas is the most recent addition to leAD’s partner roster and global expansion to further support portfolio growth. Most recently, leAD announced its selected startups for the joint venture program with Tavistock in Lake Nona. Earlier this year, leAD also announced a strategic alliance with Women in Sports Tech, a company driving growth opportunities for women in the sports tech landscape, supporting female founders by offering joint initiatives to engage and collaborate with female entrepreneurs.

Photo courtesy leAD