Adidas is one of the most well recognized sportswear and equipment brands in the world. It is widely recognized in many sports and the company also sponsors many international sporting events and athletes. The company’s global headquarters are in Herzogenaurach, Germany and they employ over 42,000 people worldwide. Adidas reported a revenue of almost $12 billion in 2010. Today, Adidas is the second biggest sportswear manufacturer in the world. If you have ever wondered who founded this well known company, keep reading to find out.
Who founded Adidas?
The origins of Adidas date back to 1924 when Adolf “Adi” Dassler began making sports shoes at his mother’s washing business. He was joined by his brother Rudolf “Rudi” Dassler and they created a company called Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). Their breakthrough came when they managed to get famous U.S. sprinter Jesse Owens to use their shoes during the 1936 Olympics. Owens won 4 gold medals at the event and the brothers were inundated with requests from other athletes for their shoes.
The bothers were so successful that they sold over 200,000 shoes each year. Unfortunately a series of events during and after World War II caused conflict with the brothers and they decided to split the business in 1947. Adolf Dassler registered his company as Adidas AG (the company name came from his nickname “Adi” and the first 3 letters of his last name) on August 18, 1949.
Did you know?
After splitting from his brother, Rudolf “Rudi” Dassler created a new company called Ruda. This eventually became the famous sportswear company now known as Puma. Due to their differences the two companies had a fierce rivalry and the brothers never reconciled.