Adolf "Adi" Dassler and the Success of the Brand with the Three Stripes
At 20 years old, Adolf "Adi" Dassler, started to make shoes in 1920 out of the materials he could eke out of post war Germany (Germany lost in World War I as part of the Central Powers) with his brother Rudolf “Rudi” Dassler. It was told the working condition was so depressive that with unreliable supply of electricity, the brothers had to make do with a stationary bicycle to run their equipment in their mother's laundry room in the town of Herzogenaurach. When the business started to take-off, the brothers soon relocated on a better workplace south of the Aurach River under the company Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory).
Gaining World Attention
Although the Dassler Brothers’ shoes were first used by athletes in 1928 for the first time, it was in 1936 when their shoes found its way to be worn by American Jessie Owens who took four gold medals during the Berlin Olympics that allowed it to gain much attention. From then on, the popularity brought by the event had prompted countless orders and secured the brothers' business until the break of World War II. Circumstantial events during the war however brought misunderstanding between the two brothers that left their family run business to be split into two in 1948. The location of their factory became significant considering it was set near the Aurach River and when Rudolf packed his bags, he set his own factory on the other side. Divided by the river, two giant shoe companies soon started to change the way locals have looked at life in that town of Germany.
The Birth of Two Shoe Brands
The sibling rivalry secured two shoe brands which will gain name for both Adi and Rudi thereby also spreading the spirit of competition among its users. Adi registered “Adidas” (after his name) at the city registrar in Fürth, near Herzogenaurach as “Adolf Dassler adidas Sportschuhfabrik” while Rudi established his own company “Ruda” (also after his name) that would later be known as Puma, Adidas’ leading competitor in the shoe industry. The residents at opposing sides of Aurach River began to sympathize with the ongoing rivalry between the two brothers as they followed patronizing Puma shoes at the other side and adidas on the other. This competition had both benefitted the shoe companies of the Dassler brothers that earned them more customers all over the world.
Present Adidas Headquarters in Herzogenaurach by Wikipedia
The Adidas Company Today
Adi Dassler died in 1978 leaving the leadership of the business to his wife and son Horst. With nearly 50,000 employees worldwide, and more than 3,000 working at the original site in Herzogenaurach, the company carries on its mission as inspired by its founder of making the best athletic/sports shoes for athletes in their respective fields. Famous and average athletes from all walks of life have used Adidas shoes from Jessie Owens, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and many more. When Horst died in 1987, adidas became a corporation two years later. In 1997, adidas bought Salomon and became adidas-Salomon AG (Salomon was however sold to Amer sports of Finland in 2005). Reebok International Ltd. was acquired in 2006 adding a new range in adidas line of athletic products. As of 2010, the company declared sales of € 11.99 billion and net income of € 567 million.