Adidas AG is a German sports apparel manufacturer and parent company of the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, golf company (including Ashworth), and Rockport. Besides sports footwear, the company also produces other products such as bags, shirts, watches, eyewear and other sports and clothing-related goods. The company is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second biggest sportswear manufacturer in the world, after its American rival Nike. In 1925, in a small German village, the world got its first taste of Adidas. It was there, in a village by the name of Herzogenaurach, located 12 miles to the north and the west of Nuremberg, that those simple three stripes were brought to life by adidas' founder, Adolf "Adi" Dassler. Adi created adidas after realizing the need for performance athletic shoes. Adidas began small, producing soccer and running shoes, which ironically enough are still the main products that adidas is known for. Adidas has continued to gain momentum through the years. Many attribute this to adidas' quality, styling and reputation. Adidas is currently the largest supplier of athletic shoes in Europe. Adidas ranks second worldwide, with their products selling in almost 200 countries. In 1994 alone, adidas sales totaled 3 billion dollars. In late 1995, adidas went public with its stock. It was a tremendous success and continues to trade internationally. Adidas posted an amazing 40% increase in net sales in the first half of 1997. The Dassler family has a rich heritage in shoes. Adi's brother, Rudolf went on to create the puma brand in 1948 after a dispute with Adi. And, another Adi Dassler, who just happens to be the grandson of the founder of adidas, has launched his own shoe company, A. D. One. which specializes in adventure and sub-urban footware.
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