Impossible is nothing
Industry Clothing and Goods manufacture
Founded 1924 (registered in 1949)
Founder(s) Adolf Dassler
Headquarters Herzogenaurach, Germany
Where al served Worldwide
Key people Herbert Hainer (CEO), Erich Stamminger (CEO, Adidas Brand) Igor Landau (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Footwear, sportswear, Sports equipment, toiletries
Revenue €10.38 billion (2009)
Operating income €508 million (2009)
Profit €245 million (2009)
Employees 39,600 (2009)
Adidas AG is a major German-based sports apparel manufacturer and parent company of the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok Sportswear Company, TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company, 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 U.S. rival Nike.
The company's clothing and shoe designs typically feature three parallel bars, and the same motif is incorporated into Adidas's current official logo. The "Three Stripes" were bought from the Finnish sport company Karhu Sports in the 1950s. The company revenue for 2009 was listed at €10.38 billion and the 2008 figure at €10.80 billion.
Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik
Adolf ("Adi") Dassler started to produce his own sports shoes in his mother's wash kitchen in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, after his return from World War I. In 1924, his brother Rudolf (Rudi) Dassler joined the business which became Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) and prospered. The pair started their venture in their mother's laundry, but at the time, electricity supplies in the town were unreliable, and the brothers sometimes had to use pedal power from a stationary bicycle to run their equipment.
By the 1936 Summer Olympics, Adi Dassler drove from Bavaria on one of the world's first motorways to the Olympic village with a suitcase full of spikes and persuaded United States sprinter Jesse Owens to use them, the first sponsorship for an African-American. After Owens won four gold medals, his success cemented the good reputation of Dassler shoes among the world's most famous sportsmen. Letters from around the world landed on the brothers' desks, and the trainers of other national teams were all interested in their shoes. Business boomed and the Dasslers were selling 200,000 pairs of shoes each year before World War II.
Late in World War II, the shoe factory shifted to production of the Panzerschreck anti-tank weapon.
Both brothers joined the Nazi Party, but Rudolf was slightly closer to the party. During the war, a growing rift between the pair reached a breaking point after an Allied bomb attack in 1943 when Adi and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf...