1924 (Registered in 1949)
Adolf Dassler (Founder)
Herbert Hainer (CEO) (2001-)
Erich Stamminger (CEO, Adidas Brand)
Hans Friderichs (Chairman of the supervisory board) (2007-)
Patrik Nillson (President, adidas America)
Sportswear and Sports Goods
▲€10.299 billion ($15.6 billion) (2007)
▲€551 million (2007)
Adidas Ltd. AG (ISIN: DE0005003404) (pronounced [AH-dee-'dahs]; often /əˈdiːdəs/ in
English) is a German sports apparel manufacturer and part of the Adidas Group, which consists
of Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade-adidas golf company, and Rockport. Besides sports
footwear, the company also produces other products such as bags, shirts, and other sports and
clothing related goods. The company is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the
second largest sportswear manufacturer in the world.
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 2006 was listed at
€10.084 billion, or about US $13.625 billion and the 2007 figure was listed at €10.299 billion, or
about $15.6 billion.
Financial data in millions of euros
Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Sales 6.523 6.266 6.478 6.636 10.084
EBITDA 532 627 725 818 1 098
Net Results 208 260 314 382 483
Net Debt 1 498 946 594 551 2 231
Adolf (quot;Adiquot;) Dassler started to produce his own sports shoes in his mother's wash kitchen 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 did well—
selling pairs of shoes each year before World War II.
However the brothers did not get along well, and in 1948 they split us with Rudi forming Puma,
and Adi forming adidas.
The company formally registered as adidas AG (with lower case lettering) on 18 August 1949.
The phrase All Day I Dream About Sports, although sometimes considered the origin of the
adidas name, was applied retroactively. The name is actually a portmanteau from quot;Adiquot; (a
nickname for Adolf) and quot;Dasquot; (from quot;Dasslerquot;).
The Tapie affair
After a period of trouble following the death of Adolf Dassler's son Horst Dassler in 1987, the
company was bought in 1989 by French industrialist Bernard Tapie, for 1.6 billion French francs
(now €243.918 million), which Tapie borrowed. Tapie was at the time a famous specialist of
rescuing bankrupt companies, an expertise on which he built his fortune.
Tapie decided to move production offshore to Asia. He also hired Madonna for promotion. He
sent Walter Head, from Christchurch, New Zealand, a shoe sales representative, to Germany and
met Adolf Dassler's descendants (Amelia Randall Dassler and Bella Beck Dassler) and was sent
back with a few items to promote the company there.
A pair of adidas quot;Sambaquot; football trainers.
In 1992, Tapie was unable to pay the interest from his loan. He mandated the Crédit Lyonnais
bank to sell Adidas, and the bank subsequently converted the outstanding debt owed into equity
of the enterprise, which was unusual as per the prevalent French banking practice. Apparently,
the state-owned bank had tried to get Tapie out of dire financial straits as a personal favour to
Tapie, reportedly because Tapie was Minister of Urban Affairs (ministre de la Ville) in the
French government at the time.
In February 1993, Crédit Lyonnais sold Adidas to Robert Louis-Dreyfus, a friend of Bernard
Tapie for a much higher amount of money than what Tapie owed, 4.485 billion (€683.514
million) francs rather than 2.85 billion (€434.479 million). Tapie later sued the bank, because he
felt quot;spoiledquot; by the indirect sale.
Robert Louis-Dreyfus became the new CEO of the company. He is also the president of the
Olympique de Marseille football team, a team Tapie owned until 1993.
Tapie filed for personal bankruptcy in 1994. He was the object of several lawsuits, notably
related to match fixing at the soccer club. During 1997, he served 6 months of an 18 month
prison sentence in La Santé prison in Paris.
In 2005, French courts awarded Tapie a €135 million compensation (about 886 million francs).
In 1994, combined with FIFA Youth Group, SOS Children's Villages became the main
In 1997, Adidas AG acquired the Salomon Group who specialized in ski wear, and its official
corporate name was changed to Adidas-Salomon AG because with this acquisition Adidas also
acquired the Taylormade Golf company and Maxfli which allowed them to compete with Nike
In 1998, Adidas sued the NCAA over their rules limiting the size and number of commercial
logos on team uniforms and apparel. Adidas withdrew the suit, and the two groups established
guidelines as to what three-stripe designs would be considered uses of the Adidas trademark.
Adidas launched legal proceedings against the world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart, claiming that it
copied some of its products as revealed by Sanjay Sinha of ADIDAS INDIA
In 2003, Adidas filed a lawsuit in a British court challenging Fitness World Trading's use of a
two-stripe motif similar to Adidas's three stripes. The court ruled that despite the simplicity of
the mark, Fitness World 's use was infringing because the public could establish a link between
that use and Adidas's mark.
In September 2004, top English fashion designer Stella McCartney launched a joint-venture line
with Adidas, establishing a long-term partnership with the corporation. This line is a sports
performance collection for women called quot;Adidas by Stella McCartneyquot;, and it has been
Also in 2005, on 3 May, Adidas told the public that they sold their partner company Salomon
Group for €485m to Amer Sports of Finland.
In August 2005, Adidas declared its intention to buy British rival Reebok for $3.8 billion (US).
This takeover was completed with partnership in January 2006 and meant that the company
will have business sales closer to those of Nike in North America. The acquisition of Reebok
will also allow Adidas to compete with Nike worldwide as the number two athletic shoemaker in
Adidas has corporate headquarters in Germany, and many other business locations around the
world such as Hong Kong, Toronto, Taiwan, England, Japan, Australia and Spain. Mainly sold in
the U.S., Adidas makes lots of assets from these countries and is expanding to more oversea
In 2005, Adidas introduced the Adidas 1, the first ever production shoe to utilize a
microprocessor. Dubbed by the company quot;The World's First Intelligent Shoequot;, it features a
microprocessor capable of performing 5 million calculations per second that automatically
adjusts the shoe's level of cushioning to suit its environment. The shoe requires a small, user-
replaceable battery that lasts for approximately 100 hours of running. It currently retails for $250
(USD). On 25 November, 2005, Adidas released a new version of the Adidas 1 with an increased
range of cushioning, allowing the shoe to become softer or firmer, and a new motor with 153
percent more torque.
On 11 April 2006, Adidas announced an 11-year deal to become the official NBA apparel
provider. They will make NBA, NBDL, and WNBA jerseys and products as well as team-
coloured versions of the quot;Superstarquot; basketball shoe. This deal (worth over $400 million) takes
the place of the previous 10-year Reebok deal that was put in place in 2001.
Adidas currently manufactures several running shoes, including the adiStar Control 5, the adiStar
Ride (the replacement for the adiStar Cushion 6), the Supernova Sequence (the replacement for
the Supernova Control 10), and the Supernova Cushion 7 (which will soon be replaced by the
Supernova Glide), among others. In addition, their performance apparel is widely used by
runners. Adidas also uses kangaroo leather to make their more expensive shoes.
One of the main focuses of Adidas is football kit and associated equipment. Their football boots,
team kits, and warm up suits are widely used by top professional club teams. Adidas also
provides apparel and equipment for all teams in Major League Soccer. Adidas remain a major
player in the supply of team kits for international football teams. Current examples include
France, Germany, Greece, Romania, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Nigeria and Israel. The
company has been an innovator in the area of footwear for the sport with notable examples
including development of the Copa Mondial moulded boot used for matches on firm dry pitches
for almost forty years. The studded equivalent was named World Cup follow in celebration of
the 1978 tournament won by Argentina, one of the many nations it supplied at the time. Adidas
became renowned for advancing the quot;Predatorquot; boot design developed by ex-Liverpool and
Australian international player Craig Johnston. This groundbreaking design featured a ribbed
surface structure for the upper leather of the shoe, used to accent the movement of the ball when
struck. Highly skilled players claimed they were able to curve the flight of the ball more easily
when wearing this new contoured design. As the development and popularity of
Football continued Adidas played a leading role in shaping the style of the play itself. FIFA, the
sports governing body, commissed specially designed footballs for use in its own World Cup
tournaments to favour more attacking play. The balls supplied for the 2006 Germany World Cup
were particular noteworthy for their ability to travel further than previous types when struck,
leading to longer range goal strikes that were intended to increase the number of goals scores and
increase spectator enjoyment. Goalkeepers were believed to be less comfortable with the design
claiming it would move significantly and unpredictably in flight.
In 1997, adidas purchased TaylorMade, and made it a subsidiary. The image and focus of
TaylorMade was redirected shortly after the acquisition to take over the driver market. The
company succeeded in achieving this goal in late 2005 when it officially became the No. 1 driver
in golf. On 14 October 2008, adidas, through its subsidiary TaylorMade, acquired Ashworth
(clothing) for $72.8 million, assuming $46.3 million in debt.
In 2008, Adidas made their first big move into the cricket market, sponsoring English batting star
Kevin Pietersen & Ian Bell. Their products are now available, notably the Pellara and Libro
Top players past and present have been known for using Adidas footwear, among the most
Emre Belözoğlu (Turkey)
Niclas Alexandersson (Sweden)
David Beckham (England) Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Zico (Brazil)
Pontus Wernbloom (Sweden) Zinédine Zidane (France)
Franz Beckenbauer (Germany) Cristian Chivu (Romania)
Steven Gerrard (England) Dwight Howard (USA)(basketball)
Kaká (Brazil) Kevin Garnett (USA)(basketball)
Stefan Selakovic (Sweden) Tracy McGrady (USA)(basketball)
Frank Lampard (England) George Williams (UK)(table-
Lionel Messi (Argentina) tennis)
Raul (Spain) Paul Davies (UK)(Ten-Pin
David Villa (Spain) bowling)
Reggie Bush (USA) (American Kevin Pietersen (England) (Cricket)
Football) Ian Bell (England) (Cricket)
Sachin Tendulkar (India) (Cricket)
Virender Sehwag (India) (Cricket)
Sania Mirza(India) (Tennis)
In 2007, Adidas announced the future production of lacrosse equipment, and will sponsor the
Adidas National Lacrosse Classic in July 2008 for the top 600 high school underclassmen
lacrosse players in the United States.
Mi Adidas is a mass customization program offering the option to customize a shoe model with
the choice of different types of outsoles, cushioning, and other parameters.
Main article: Adidas sponsorships
Adidas are the main sponsor of the highly successful New Zealand national rugby team, The All
Blacks. Adidas also supplies match balls to all All Blacks home matches as well as making the
jerseys. Adidas also are the kit supplier to the Argentina national rugby team Los Pumas. Adidas
also are the kit suppliers to Stade Francais and Munster.
Adidas are the main sponsors and kit sponsors of the extremely successful Australian Cricket
Team and the England Cricket Team. They are also the main sponsors of the Indian Star
Cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Adidas are the main sponsors of Australian
Domestic Cricket Competitions - Pura Cup, KFC Twenty20 Big Bash, Ford Ranger One Day
Cup. They are sponsors of the Indian Premier League Teams Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai
Adidas also sponsors the St George Illawarra Dragons Rugby League team in the Australian
National Rugby League (NRL) competition.
Adidas is the longstanding kit provider to the Germany national football team, a sponsorship that
began in 1954 and is contracted to continue until at least 2018.
Adidas are very active at sponsoring top football clubs such as IFK Göteborg, A.C. Milan,
Olympique de Marseille, Ajax Amsterdam, Bayern Munich, FC Schalke 04, Benfica, Chelsea
F.C., Liverpool F.C., Newcastle United F.C., Fenerbahçe SK, UANL Tigres, Real Madrid, Club
Atletico River Plate, SE Palmeiras, Club de Fútbol Universidad de Chile, and the Colombian
football teams Club Deportivo Los Millonarios, Deportivo Cali and Atletico Nacional.
Adidas and Major League Soccer announced a 10-year sponsorship agreement in November
2004 to make Adidas the official athletic sponsor and licensed product supplier for the league,
and to work together to create a developmental league for MLS.
Adidas also sponsors events such as The London Marathon.
For the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Adidas spent €70 million sponsoring the
event amid criticisms.
CEO (1993-2001): Robert Louis-Dreyfus.
Current executive board
CEO Adidas-group: Herbert Hainer
Finance Adidas-group: Robin J. Stalker
CEO Adidas brand: Erich Stamminger
Global Operations Adidas-group: Glenn S. Bennett
quot;Impossible is Nothingquot; is the current mainstream marketing slogan for Adidas. This campaign
was developed by 180TBWA based in Amsterdam but also with significant work being done by
TBWAChiatDay in San Francisco - particularly for its basketball campaign quot;Believe In Fivequot;.
Refers to the line of casual clothes and new campaign launched by adidas around the beginning
of 1996, when adidas separated the brand into 3 main groups, each with its own focus. Four
videos have been released to date, including quot;Original Gamesquot;, which shows a group of guys and
girls playing modified Olympic type games in the streets; quot;Handbags For Feetquot;, which journeys
through the streets of Berlin with a girl named Amelie taking interesting photos; quot;The Story of
Adi Dasslerquot;, which tells the story of the man who started adidas and quot;Sounds of The Cityquot;,
which shows how DJ Theo Parish collects sounds for his music.
quot;adidas Originals invites today’s lifestyle consumers to Celebrate Originality through an
exceptional brand campaign and a variety of product themes inspired by the rich sporting
heritage of adidas and the global reach of the Trefoil.quot;
During the mid to late 1990s Adidas divided the brand into three main groups with each a
separate focus. Adidas performance was designed to maintain their devotion to the athlete;
Adidas originals with its focus on fashion and life style; and Style essentials with the main group
within this one being Y-3.
Adidas collaborated with Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto to create Y-3. Adidas is currently
working with up and coming British designer Lawrence Dawanyi, the range is set to be unveiled
by the Summer of 2009.