Adidas is a brand of the Adidas Group, German multinational company that produces sports articles also with the brands Reebok and TaylorMade Golf.

Adidas is a brand of the Adidas Group, German multinational company that produces sports articles with the brands Adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade Golf.

The origins of Adidas

The history of the company, recorded in 1949, begins in 1924 when the brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler founded the Gebrüder Dassler Schunfabrik company. Adidas designs and manufactures sneakers suitable for athlete’s foot. The gold medal won by Jesse Owens in the Berlin Olympics in 1936 was the first great achievement and the beginning of a great story.

Due to some differences in the meantime, in 1947 the brothers separate. Rudolf starts his Puma company, which will become – like its rival sister – a prominent name in the footwear scene.

On August 18, 1949 Adolf gave birth to the Adidas brand, whose name is composed of his nickname – Adi – and the first three letters of his surname. The three characteristic stripes of the logo immediately accompany the brand, while the clover was purchased in 1951 by the Finnish company Karhu Sport.

The history

Adolf Dassler’s shoes were worn by the German national football team. They became famous through the victory of the national team at the 1954 football world championships. As early as ’56, many athletes competed in Adidas at the Melbourne Olympics. Since 1967, through cooperation with the French brand Le Coq Sportif, Adidas has entered the sportswear market.

In half a century of life, this brand stood out as the most prominent during some of the most prestigious worldwide sports events. For example, in 1971, Muhammad Alì and Joe Frazier both wore Adidas shoes during the boxing match called the “fight of the century”. In 1972 the company was the official supplier of the Olympics Games.

Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier during the match in 1971.

Adi Dassler was the first foreigner accepted into the Hall of Fame of the sporting goods industry of the US.

Upon his death, in 1978, the management of the company passed into the hands of his wife Käthe, his son Horst and the latter’s daughters. In 1986 the American rap group Run DMC released the song My Adidas in which video they appear wearing a pair of Adidas Superstars. From this moment the brand becomes a recurring reference of youth cultures and an established brand in hip hop culture. In 1988, the company introduced one of the most recent innovations in the production of sports shoes: the Torsion system.

From 1990 to 2000

In 1990, following a period of crisis in the company, the Dassler family sold 80% of its shares to Bernard Tapie. Tapie was a  controversial businessman. Four years later, in 1994, after the bankruptcy of the industrialist, the.French entrepreneur Robert Louis-Dreyfus acquired Tapie’s shares. In 1995 Adidas became a joint stock company. A year later, at the XXVI Olympics in Atlanta, the three-striped club equips 6,000 athletes from 33 countries and 220 medals, 70 of which gold, are won by Adidas sponsored athletes. The company has an advertising return that leads to a 50% increase in clothing sales. In the same year, the American nu metal band Korn composes a.d.i.d.a.s., a tribute to his favorite brand that consolidates the brand’s position in the imagination and in the youth market.

In 1997 Adidas, with a workforce of 10,000 employees, took over the French company Salomon and changed its name to Adidas-Salomon AG. With this acquisition, the brand also becomes the owner of TaylorMade Golf and Maxfli. Thus he gives birth to Adidas Golf, which allows the compete with the golf line of its direct competitor Nike.

In September 2000, the first Adidas Originals Store was inaugurated in Berlin. With about 3200 square feet the store at the Berlin-Mitte is intended only for original collections of shoes and accessories and for special editions such as the Crystal Superstar, of which only 100 pairs were produced.

One of Adidas Originals’ model, the Superstar.

From 2000 to 2005

In 2001 the company opened its horizons to fashion by starting a series of collaborations with fashion designers. The first collaboration is with the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto who presented his first collection, called Y-3, in 2002. Since 2003 Y-3, a luxury sportswear-à-porter line, is sold in the best fashion stores of the important international capitals. It even comes to show on the calendar during New York Fashion Week. The limited edition capsule collection for a selected network of stores, created for Adidas by American designer Jeremy Scott, is from the same year.

In 2004 the collaboration with Stella McCartney was born for a women’s line that brings fashion content to sportswear; the line was launched on the market in 2005 under the name Adidas by Stella McCartney and since 2008 it has been presented during London Fashion Week.

In 2005 Adidas Group sells Salomon to the Finnish company Amer Sports Corporation; in its place, on January 31, 2006, Adidas Group acquired Reebok International Ltd.

Herbert Hainer remains CEO of the new Adidas Group while Paul Fireman, from his position as CEO at Reebok International Ltd., becomes a consultant to Hainer.

Adidas from 2005 to 2010

In 2007 the brand announces the production of lacrosse equipment. In July 2008, he grants the 600 best US college players with the Adidas National Lacrosse Classic. Also in 2008, the Ashworth clothing company becomes fully owned by TaylorMade – Adidas Golf; the same year Adidas enters the English cricket market and sponsors some batters becoming the official sponsor of some Indian Premier League teams. In 2009 he launched SLVR a line of sporty but elegant clothing, aimed at an adult market that combines typically urban elements with the world of fashion.

A year later Adidas NEO was born, a line designed for teenagers. The collection consists of footwear and clothing with special pieces made with the advice of football star David Beckham.

The brand’s best-known line is Adidas Original which, designed on the brand’s heritage, reissues classics of sportswear and sneakers from the past.

Adidas is today one of the two largest manufacturers of sports clothing and accessories, covering all sports disciplines and sponsoring internationally renowned teams and athletes. Its proximity to the world of youth cultures is evidenced by the recent birth of Adidas SB (Skateboarding), a line designed exclusively for skate that boasts a team of international athletes.

In early 2008, the company hired Canadian company Sid Lee as an advertising agency for Adidas Originals. In 2010 Sid Lee became the official advertising agency for the entire brand.

From 2010 to 2017

On March 16, 2011 Adidas launches its largest global advertising campaign which.for the first time combines the three largest product categories. Adidas Sport Style, Adidas Sport Performance and Adidas Original.

The ADV is directed by Roman Gavras and combines the diversity of the.brand in 30 and 60 seconds of commercials for TV and cinema and in a more extended version of 2 minutes for online. Among the protagonists of All Adidas are great music, film and sports stars.such as Katy Perry, David Beckham, B.o.B, Lionel Messi, Derrick Rose, The Like, Louis Smith, Cyclops, the All Blacks and the Adidas SB team.

Lionel Messi x Adidas in an advertising ad from 2018.

Over the years, through advertising, testimonials, collaborations and the quality of products in specific sports activities, the label has become one of the leading brands on the world market. It has 42,541 employees against the 34,400 of its main competitor Nike Inc.

2017 to 2020

In 2018, the sportswear giant set a record on the stock exchange. With increases of more than 7%, ending the first quarter with sales of almost 6 billion euros, in spite of analysts’ estimates.

The European Court, in June 2019, intervened on the registration of the trademark, declaring its distinctiveness null and void. In 2014, the EU Court had accepted the registration of Adidas’ logo. It has three parallel strips equally spaced and of equal width applied on the product in any direction. During the following two years, however, he had canceled the registration,.accepting the application for invalidity introduced by the Belgian company Shoe Branding Europe, which considered the brand to be devoid of any distinctive character.

In October 2020 the brand announced the collaboration with Wolford to create ‘Studio Motion’ and ‘Sheer Motion’. Two capsule collections characterized by.performing and supportive garments, made with opaque and transparent knitting techniques to enhance the silhouette.

Adidas is one of the many companies that is committed to implementing the production of eco-sustainable products. Among these companies we can find Aveda, Zara, Stella McCartney, H&M and Asos.

Additionally, the Adidas group has five eco-sustainable collections: Primeblue, Primegreen, Parley, Run for the Oceans and a collection that partly contains recycled materials.

Adidas x Parley.

Adidas recently

Run for the Oceans, inaugurated in 2017, is an event to raise funds for cleaning and safeguarding the oceans.

Additionally in 2019, Adidas decided to shift their production materials with recycled plastics in the ocean. The company expected to make 11 million shoes with recycled plastic. Furthermore they also decided to create a 100% recyclable shoe called the Futurecraft Loop. The concept of the shoe is made to be remade. The shoe is expected to be sold in 2021.

Adidas has launched its first maternity activewear collection. The new collection is created in collaboration with women in different phases of their pregnancy. This is in order for the clothes to stretch and fit different stages of the journey. Comfort and support are the main features of this collection. The materials used are made from light-weight and high-stretch fabric mostly around the stomach and chest so that women can wear it during and postpartum period.

Furthermore on October 1, 2020, the company issued eight-year Green bonds that will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. This capital will go to finance environmental and social initiatives within the company. The announcement came a few days after the issuance of Chanel and Burberry‘s Green Bonds.

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Nike is an American brand that sells footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories.It was founded in beginning of the 1960s, by Phil Knight and Bill Bowman.


  1. The Origin
  2. Brand Development
  3. Sponsorship and Collaborations
  4. Store Openings 
  5. A Sustainable Business
  6. Current Situation

The Origin

Nike Owner Bill Bowman in Shop
Nike Owner Bill Bowman in Shop

Nike is the American brand of trainer shoes. The company started as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964 in Oregon, by Phil Knight and Bill Bowman, who later died in 1999. Then, in 1971 became as its known today, Nike. In Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of victory and represented success in war and athletic competition. The two iconic mottos of Nike are “just do it” and the notorious “swoosh”. It has played a vital role in making trainers the footwear of choice for everyday use, in its many styles, colors, and technologies. It boasts Michael Jordan, the star of the Chicago Bulls and one of the greatest basketball players of all time, as a celebrity endorser.

Since the beginning of the company, Nike followed a twofold path, developing innovative footwear, and creating a powerful and emotionally involving communication strategy. The same success was achieved at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 by the American basketball team, the famous Dream Team, made up of the NBA professionals, wearing Nike shoes.  Also, Ilie Nastase, a revolutionary and eclectic tennis player, was the first to name a long list of athlete that have represented Nike over the course of the years. It was great publicity.

Nike was the first brand to offer, at the beginning of the 1980s, shoes specifically designed for every sporting discipline: jogging, aerobics, body building, running. To remain above their competition, the brand inserted pockets of air in the heel and sole, copying the technique from Dr Martin’s, with the result that Nike Air monopolized the market. In the heart of Manhattan, the company has a highly modern showroom on two floors, organized according to each different sport.

Brand Development

Nike Free Running Shoes
Nike Free Running Shoes

In April 2002 Nike and Philips announced their collaboration to develop electronic equipment designed for physical activities. It began in September with the launch of a CD player adapted to the needs of sporting individuals. The birth of the Nike Presto line of casual clothing, following the success of rapid use shoes without laces. The wider collection includes clothing, watches and bags.

Later in June, the launch of the franchising operation of the European sector of the multinational. The Viennese store (350 square meters) was the first in a series of test spaces opened in Europe within the course of a few months. The multinational aimed to open 100 European stores by 2008. Then, in December there was the inauguration of the Milan store, on two floors in Corso Buenos Aires. In the second quarter of 2002, the total sales in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa increased by 8%. On the American continent, however, sales decreased by 8% for the same period. By 2003 the global launch of shoes for children aged between 1 and 6 years old, inspired by the Lego Bionicle series.

At this time Nike was criticized for allowing child labor and sweatshops with bad conditions. In response to these criticisms, Nike announced that its plants would be monitored by the International Labor Organization to prevent children exploitation.

In 2004, Phil Knight leaves his position of CEO and President, but remains as chairman. William D. Perez was appointed as the new CEO. The corporation close this year with revenues exceed $12.25 billion, and made significant donation $37.3 Million in Cash for In-Kind services and more than 4,500 Non-Profits globally, including supporting Youth Physical Activity, which is one of the companies long term commitment to getting kids and teenagers more physically active, increasing their physical activity, offering them the support and motivation to become physically active, stay healthy and have fun.

The Nike Youth Physical Activity Community Impact
The Nike Youth Physical Activity Community Impact

A year later, Nike became the first company in sports industry to disclose its factory base to encourage industry transparency and collaboration. During this period, Nike signs tennis star Rafael Nadal to be its new spokesperson. The company introduced its signature minimalist running shoes Nike Free, in that time, Nike Free was the most cushioned model in the whole industry.

Sponsorship and Collaborations

In the beginning of 2006, CEO William Perez departs. At this time, the company’s commitment to industry-leading transparency in its social responsibility reporting has led to the company being the top U.S. company and one of the world’s top 10 in the latest Sustainability Global Reporters Program ranking.

Nike Collaboration With Apple Sports Band
Collaboration With Apple Sports Band

In 2007 Nike made a 5-year sponsorship with India cricket team for $43 million. Later in this year, Nike welcomed its new CEO Mark Parker. During this time, Nike teamed up with Apple and created the first collaboration between sport band and technology company, together, Nike+iPod sports kit is launched, this product aimed to help runners to log and monitor their runs through iTunes and Nike+ website. At end of this year, Nike introduced AF 25, after 25 years of Air Force shoe line.

In 2008 Nike launched the Air Jordan XX3, a high-performance and eco-friendly basketball shoes. Also, the Nike Considered Design made its debut, this collection combined sustainability and the latest innovations for sports.

Nike 2008 The Air Jordan XX3
2008 The Air Jordan XX3

The company has provided consumers considered products for several years but for the first time, they considered Design and aimed for it to be featured in all of Nike’s six key categories: basketball, running, football, women’s training, men’s training and sportswear, as well as in tennis and ACG (All Condition Gear).

Also at this time, Nike and The Finish Line Company announced the opening of a new retail experience called Finish Line Ltd Customized to meet the needs of young running and training athletes. The concept store is located at the Chandler Fashion Center near Phoenix, Arizona.

Thanks to a smart and effective communication strategy that has involved the greatest representatives of youth cultures, the creative forefront, and relationships with the most significant artists, designers and role models of all time, Nike has managed to carve out an important place in the imagination of consumers, a decisively transversal target. The communication policy of the brand also includes the creation of very active web platforms, intended to become small virtual communities for people that love challenges and the world of sports.

Store Openings

In 2009, Nike opened a flagship store in Tokyo. In 2011 the House reopened the 1948 space in London, which had been closed three years before. Nike set up a space both for the sale and for customer entertainment.

Nike Lab in Tokyo
Nike Lab in Tokyo

2014 marked the new store openings in Berlin, in Rio (exclusively dedicated to football), in San Francisco and in Seoul. Also, they introduced many NikeLab, where people can find both e-commerce and creative spaces. NikeLab is a place where the brand can show how the Company interacts and collaborates with other innovators and designers. In 2015 they introduced new products that help both breathing while running and the temperature control during sports activities.

Nike SNKRS App
Nike SNKRS App

At this time, the company launched a new application called SNKRS, which allows fans to discover and buy new products. It is considered the best sneaker store in the palm of your hand. Recently the brand started to support an environmentally sustainable production. As a matter of fact, Nike spent $50 million in research and development to change, with nitrogen, a gas that was already contained in the soles of the Air Max and contributed to global warming. With this change the brand introduced Airmax 360. Some years ago, Nike introduced the customization of the shoes to satisfy extravagant people that want to express their own style. This kind of service is available on the web site and in stores.

A Sustainable Business

Over the years, sustainability plays a critical role at the company, which is also considered a powerful engine for company’s future growth. The company has spent more than a decade embedding sustainability across the company to help technology and innovation to drive new solutions that could deliver for athletes, business and the world. The company has made commitment to reducing carbon emissions to support global carbon budget, environmental footprint, and ensuring their sourcing and manufacturing ecosystem continues to deliver sustainable growth across the entire value chain.

Nike Sustainable Shoes
Sustainable Shoes

In 2016, Nike expanded the European logistics campus, located 50 km outside of Antwerp, using only renewable energy sources, including wind turbines and solar panels. To stay in line with the eco-friendly policy, 95% of waste, produced on site, is exploited to create energy. In addition to reducing waste, in 2016 Nike improved the performance of Nike Flyknit (a pair of shoes that performs since four years from introduction date), being now lighter and more protective, ensuring maximum performance and minimizes waste.

Current Situation

Nike Current January 2017 Campaign
Current January 2017 Campaign

On February 12th 2017, Nike uses its logo to introduce an initiative in favor of respect and loyalty during sport activities. The spot is entitled “Equality” and boasts Michael B. Jordan, LeBron James and Serena Williams among the actors.

Nike has consolidated its business and its success through serious investments in research into new technologies for sport performance, a search they continue to develop together with the best athletes in every discipline, becoming the first manufacturer of accessories and clothing for football, basketball, tennis, skateboarding and many other disciplines. Currently, the company has 5 global headquarter in worldwide, 62.6k employee’s, their products can be found in every country in the world, they are sold at 110k retail stores, and during the year of 2017 there were 931 more new stores were opened.