About Adidas - Clothes, Shoes & Accessories
Adidas AG is a German brand that has become a market leader in the field of sports clothing and training shoes, taking control of Reebok and Rockport as well as a 9.1% stake in footballing legends Bayern Munich.
The company was founded in 1948 by Adolf Dassler after he split with his brother Rudolf who went on to form Puma. The son of a shoe factory worker, it was perhaps inevitable that Dassler would go on to form his own company, but it started way back in his mother's kitchen, where he produced his own sports shoes after World War I. In 1936, Dassler took a suitcase full of shoes to the Olympic village and persuaded US sprinter Jesse Owens to use them. His haul of four gold medals helped launch the company in its original form and soon athletes were queuing for the brothers' shoes.
Before World War II the brothers were selling more than 200,000 pairs of shoes a year, but a disagreement between the pair sent them on their separate paths after the war. Adidas was born.
The shoes evolved quickly, partly thanks to the brothers' rivalry, and the now famous three stripes weren't just branding, they were initially conceived to strengthen the shoe without adding excessive weight.
Adidas has been a major supplier to the world of football, tennis, golf, cricket, rugby and athletics since that time. It has also branched out with a number of lifestyle items like sandals and even fragrances. It has worked its heritage well, too, and there is a huge market for 'classicÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ´Adidas, recreations of the old shoes with modern materials. Adidas also crossed over the music world by sponsoring Run DMC and helping to create a whole new kind of endorsement deal.
But the sporting brand lies at its core and it is involved at the highest level, from producing football kits for the German national team and the footballs for several world cups through to bats for leading cricketers.