Adolf ("Adi") Dassler started to produce his own sports shoes in his mother's wash kitchen after his return from World War I. In 1924, his brother Rudolf Dassler joined the business which became Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) and did well - selling 200,000 pairs of shoes each year before World War Two.
However the brothers did not get on well, and in 1948 they split up , with Rudi forming Puma, and Adi forming Adidas.
The company formally registered as adidas AG (with lower case lettering) on August 18, 1949. The phrase All Day I Dream About Sports is used as if Adidas were an acronym.
 The Tapie affair
After a period of trouble following the death of Adolf Dassler's son Horst Dassler in 1987, the company was bought in 1989 by French industrialist Bernard Tapie, for 1.6 billion French francs (now €243.918 million), which Tapie borrowed. Tapie was at the time a famous specialist of rescuing bankrupt companies, an expertise on which he built his fortune.
Tapie decided to move production offshore to Asia. He also hired Madonna for promotion. He sent Walter Head, from Christchurch, New Zealand, a shoe sales representative, to Germany and met Adolf Dassler's descendants (Amelia Randall Dassler and Bella Beck Dassler) and was sent back with a few items to promote the company there.
A pair of Adidas "Samba" football trainers.In 1992, Tapie was unable to pay the interest from his loan. He mandated the Crédit Lyonnais bank to sell Adidas, and the bank subsequently converted the outstanding debt owed into equity of the enterprise, which was unusual as per the prevalent French banking practice. Apparently, the state-owned bank had tried to get Tapie out of dire financial straits as a personal favour to Tapie, reportedly because Tapie was a minister of Urban Affairs (ministre de la Ville) in the French government at the time.
In February 1993, Crédit Lyonnais sold Adidas to Robert...