Adidas

Adidas AG (German pronunciation: [?adi?das]) is a German multinational corporation that designs and manufacturers sports clothing and accessories based in Herzogenaurach, Germany. It is the holding company for the adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade-Adidas golf company (including Ashworth), and Rockport. Besides sports footwear, Adidas also produces other products such as bags, shirts, watches, eyewear, and other sports- and clothing-related goods. Adidas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Germany and Europe and the second biggest sportswear manufacturer in the world. Adidas was founded in 1948 by Adolf Dassler, following the split of Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik between him and his older brother Rudolf. Rudolf later established Puma, which was the early rival of Adidas. Registered in 1949, Adidas is currently based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, along with Puma. 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 company revenue for 2010 was listed at 11.99 billion. Christoph Von Wilhelm Dassler was a worker in a shoe factory, while his wife Pauline ran a small laundry in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, 20 km (12.4 mi) from the city of Nuremberg. After leaving school, their son, Rudolf "Rudi" Dassler, joined his father at the shoe factory. When he returned from fighting in World War I, Rudolf received a management position at a porcelain factory, and later in a leather wholesale business in Nuremberg. 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 July 1924, his brother Rudolf returned to Herzogenaurach to join his younger brother's business, which became Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) and prospered. The pair started the venture in their mother's laundry,:5 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 U.S. sprinter Jesse Owens to use them, the first sponsorship for an African American. Following Owens's haul of 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. Both brothers joined the Nazi Party, but Rudolf was slightly closer to the party than Adolf. 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 and his family were already in: "The dirty bastards are back again", Adi said, referring to the Allied war planes, but Rudolf was convinced his brother meant him and his family. After Rudolf was later picked up by American soldiers and accused of being a member of the Waffen SS, he was convinced that his brother had turned him in. The Dassler factory, used for production of anti-tank weapons during the war, was nearly destroyed by US forces in April 1945, but was spared when Adi Dassler's wife, Kathe, convinced the GIs that the company and its employees were only interested in manufacturing sports shoes. American occupying forces subsequently became major buyers of the Dassler brothers' shoes. The brothers split up in 1947, with Rudi forming a new firm that he called Ruda from Rudolf Dassler, later rebranded Puma, and Adi forming a company formally registered as Adidas AG from Adi Dassler on 18 August 1949. Although it is popularly claimed that the name is an acronym for All Day I Dream About Sport, that phrase is a backronym; the name is actually a portmanteau formed from "Adi" (a nickname for Adolf) and "Das" (from "Dassler").