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Castro’s love of Adidas 

Posted September. 22, 2015 06:59,   


Pope Francis, who played a role as arbitrator between Cuba and the U.S., visited the residence of former Cuban president Fidel Castero, and held their first meeting on Sunday. Ordinary people would be cautious about what they wear when meeting the Pontiff, but Castro was seen wearing ‘blue sweatshirts’ from the sports gear maker Adidas, famous for the three straight line pattern, on top of his dress shirt. When former Pope Benedict XVI visited Cuba three years ago, the former Cuban leader was seen wearing coat with scarf when receiving the Pope. When Pope John Paul II visited him in 1998, Castro received wearing suit and tie. He could be freed from formality, considering his advanced age now at 89, but his attires also seem to be related with his affection for a certain brand.   

In August 2006, the Cuban government released photos of Castro who was recovering from intestinal surgery. He was seen wearing Adidas sportswear with three lines in red on white background. At that time, Adidas said, “We only support the Cuban Olympic team, and have nothing to do with Castro,” in scrambling to defend itself. Even though Castro is a world famous figure, the sports gear maker feared that Castro’s attire could negatively affect its marketing because the U.S., the world’s largest sports gear market, dislikes him. 

After seizing power through communist revolution, Castro would often wear military uniforms. Since he has lived as a revolutionist throughout his life, he started wearing sportswear despite his advanced age even after surgery, believing that he looks healthier when taking photos wearing sportswear rather than patient gown. He has also worn products from Nike and Puma, but his favorite brand is Adidas. Regrettably, the U.S. weekly Time included Castro with a story entitled ‘Courtesy by Adidas’ when singling out 10 worst-styled world leaders in 2010. Was it Castro’s shame or Adidas’ shame? 


As it normalized ties with the U.S. in December last year, Cuba started efforts to revive economy from a prolonged recession while escaping from long-term U.S. sanctions. In North Korea, after its leader Kim Jong Un criticized rampant use of imports, sports stars who appeared in the media would even cover with tape the English logos of their uniforms including those from Adidas. If Kim sees Castro who is wearing Adidas without giving any hesitance, he may as well realize something….