The History Of Adidas Shoe Company

Adidas started humbly in a wash room, but today it has conquered the world. Founded in 1924 by two brothers, Adi and Rudolf Dassler, Adidas have since become one of the most famous sportswear brands in the world. The company with the three stripes logo now has its products for sale in pretty much every country around the world and generate sales in excess of 14.5 billion Euros each year.

The Origins

The two brothers set out with the idea of trying to create the best sports equipment and sportswear possible and indeed they had some relatively early success with Lina Radke winning a gold medal at the 1928 Olympics with their equipment. Further success followed thanks to Jesse Owens in 1936 and in itself it is quite telling that their first products focused on producing the best possible soccer and athletics shoes and indeed these are the two markets that are still the mainstay of their entire business.

Lina Radket wins the Olympics wearing Adidas shoes

By the mid 30's the company were expanding into tennis shoes and had a product line that included 30 different designs and expanding into a range of sports. They were also responsible for introducing shoes for athletes that had spikes for grip and studs with soccer boots for the exact same reason. The earliest shoes manufactured by Adidas was largely made of canvas although even from an early age they were known for testing the latest materials in the hope of producing a shoe that was perfect for that particular sport.

The Brotherly Split

With relatively little success over the first two decades, 1948 is seen as being a huge year in the development of the company as the two brothers split after a disagreement. As an aside, you may not be aware of the fact that when Rudolf split to create his own company it led to the emergence of Puma.

Adi Dassler holding a footbal shoe

After the split, Adi created the three stripes logo, which is now world famous, and after the split with his brother, Adi pretty much started from scratch and forged on with new designs and ideas to dominate the sports shoe market. At this point he had a total of 47 workers and decided to focus mainly on the soccer market. This led to the first boot with rubber moulded studs and the birth of the Samba range with this being largely responsible for the spread of the company around the world.

The Move To Global Domination

By 1952, the German Olympic team mainly wore Adidas shoes and when this resulted in them having a fantastic games it led to the spread in popularity of the Adidas brand. Indeed, one athlete by the name of Emil Zatopek won the gold medal in the 5,000m, 10,000m, and the marathon with this feat never having been repeated since.

This theme is recurring throughout the decades with numerous gold medals being won, the German soccer team winning the World Cup wearing Adidas boots, and their equipment and apparel being worn by top teams and players in various sports around the world. To understand their popularity you only have to look at the 1984 Olympic games where 124 out of the 140 competing nations wore Adidas and a total of 249 medals were worn by athletes wearing the brand.

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The Size Of The Company According To Figures

The sales figures during the growth of Adidas are difficult to come by until they are launched as a corporation in 1989. Since then, we have a better idea of just how big this company is as by the year 2000, which was 100 years after the birth of Adi Dassler, the company had a turnover of 5.8 billion Euros, but even that is small compared to their turnover at the present time.

Indeed, by 2001, the figure had risen to 6.1 billion Euros and this ultimately resulted in them purchasing the Reebok brand in 2006, which further increased their total turnover to just under 10 billion Euros. Now, they currently sit with a turnover in the region of 15 billion Euros and their name is still associated with many of the top sports stars around the world as well as national teams and club teams in a whole host of sports.

The history of the Adidas group shows them growing from a small town in Germany to a global giant and they have been responsible for some of the most iconic names and most important developments in sports technology over the decades. You cannot imagine an Olympic games without them, or a soccer World Cup without their branding and the one thing that is certain is that they are going to continue to be one of the major players in what is an ultra competitive market. Today Adidas is ranked in the top 70 world's most valuable brands.