Adidas AG is a German sports goods manufacturer with the brands adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade. The company has its headquarters in Herzogenaurach.

Since 17 November 1995, the Group is listed in the German stock index at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and is regarded by Nike as the second largest sportswear manufacturer in the world.

  • 2.1 Structure
  • 2.2 Group management
  • 2.3 Shareholder
  • 2.4 Financial figures of the Adidas Group
  • 3.1 The brand - the strips
  • 3.2 Known Models
  • 3.3 emblem and the Olympic Games


At the beginning of the 1920s made ​​the Dassler brothers in the old laundry of their mother sneakers that were optimally adapted to the foot of the respective athletes. However, it came between the brothers repeatedly differences. Rudolf, the savvy businessman, was the more extroverted of the two; Schuhmachermeister Adolf, however, was more introverted and technically gifted.

In 1928, the first time Adidas shoes arrived at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, in athletics, are used. Mid-30s, several different models of sports shoes for different sports have been made ​​.

After the war, Adolf Dassler and his brother Rudolf loggerheads final and went their separate ways. 1948 Rudolf Dassler founded Puma, the company that has long been one of the fiercest competitors in sports shoes. Both Herzogenauracher companies presented the entire range here of sports shoes for a variety of sports.

Today's Adidas AG was founded on August 18, 1949 by Adolf Dassler. The name is composed of his nickname " Adi " and the first three letters of his surname. Adi Dassler soccer shoes used, among other things, the German national football team. With the German victory in the football World Cup in 1954 in Bern, the so-called Miracle of Bern, the soccer shoes from Adidas were eventually world famous.

Adidas produced increasingly also other sports goods initially footballs, from 1967 through a partnership with the French clothing brand Le Coq Sportif also sportswear. When Adolf Dassler died in 1978, the company, which was the world market leader for sports product was carried on by his family. Although production has been increasingly outsourced to low-wage countries, Adidas, in the mid -1980s in an economic imbalance; the family had to be opened for non-family investors.

Sale and IPO

On 7 July 1990, the Dassler Family sold 80% of its shares in the company to the French entrepreneur Bernard Tapie for 1.6 billion French francs, about 470 million marks Tapie sold in the following year 20 % of its shares to the British Pentland Group, which in turn in 1992 he made ​​a takeover bid for Adidas, this retired to auditors reports in the summer of 1992 and the 20% stake eventually sold back to the end of 1992 Tapie. Following the bankruptcy Tapies the shares were initially held by his bank, Crédit Lyonnais and then in 1994 transferred to the French businessman Robert Louis -Dreyfus. After the company had initially operates as Adidas International Holding GmbH, was renamed 1993 Adidas AG and converted into a public limited company. 1995, the shares of Adidas were placed on the stock exchange in Frankfurt.

In 1997, the French sportswear manufacturer Adidas Salomon for 2.4 billion DM, henceforth called the company Adidas -Salomon. The merger with the predominantly focused on winter sports company should increase the bandwidth of the range, however, the acquisition proved to be a loss-making business. Salomon was repelled in 2005 to Amer Sports for 485 million euros. As a result, Adidas took over the competitor Reebok, the former number three in the sporting goods industry, for 3.1 billion euros.

Reebok takeover

With the sale of Salomon plans of the merger was accompanied by a competitor Reebok to get closer to the target, the global market leader Nike. On 31 January 2006, the acquisition of Reebok International Ltd. was. completed. Reebok shareholders received $ 59 per share in cash. The value of the transaction amounted to approximately 3.1 billion euros. Herbert Hainer remains CEO of the new Adidas group, while Paul Fireman from his position as CEO of Reebok International Ltd.. resigned and now works as a consultant Hainer.

Adidas had been opposed to Reebok no large market share in the athletic shoe business in the U.S.. In Europe, the ratio of the market positions of both companies is reversed. There Reebok is in a weaker market position. With the merger Adidas to regain market share in the athletic shoe business and strengthen its position in relation to the global market leader Nike, the 2005 could boast a turnover of 11.6 billion euros.

Adidas had to revise its profit forecast for the year to come down, as was required for Reebok additional money in November 2006.

Herbert Hainer admitted in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung end of December that it is a failing at Reebok. In the first half of 2007, we still expect a further decline in revenues, which will however be reduced in the second half. From 2009 should cost savings of 175 million euros " their way through into the result ."

At the annual data for 2006 on 7 March 2007, further draws a diffuse image for Reebok. The order backlog ( in the important leading indicator of future sales industry ) was at Reebok permanently in the red zone: At 14 percent in the first, 13 percent in the second, 14 percent in the third and 12 percent in the fourth quarter declined currency-neutral orders. This was primarily due to declines in the lifestyle sector in the U.S..

In December 2007, Herbert Hainer told the club business press in Munich at the Reebok acquisition: "This was far more difficult than expected. " Reebok sales in the first three quarters of 2007 was steadily declined. The turnaround was thereby postponed for another year back. Reebok is now growing again in the second half of 2008. Dealers also refer to Hainer's statements to Reebok, which would be " difficult to read ". The purchased U.S. subsidiary apparently do further problems. "We know that the brand is not as popular ," Hainer said. Reebok had been too focused on the music and lifestyle segment and neglect the sport. In addition, the marketing strategy was not good.


Adidas Group


Today, part of the Adidas Group, the following brands:

  • Adidas Adidas Sport Performance (sports footwear and apparel )
  • Adidas Sport Heritage ( retro lifestyle brand )
  • Adidas Sport Style (Fashion)
  • CCM ( ice hockey and inline skating required)
  • TaylorMade ( golf clubs and accessories )
  • Adidas Golf ( Golf footwear and apparel )
  • Ashworth

Group management

The management of the Adidas Group is taking over the board, which consists of four people. CEO and thus corporate ladder is Herbert Hainer. In addition, the board of management Glenn Bennett, Robin J. Stalker, CFO, and Erich Stamminger, CEO of Adidas brand, (as of 2012). The board members are appointed by agreements that provide for, among other things, salaries and any bonuses from the company.

The board members are elected by the Supervisory Board and controlled. The Supervisory Board is composed of twelve members. After the German Co-Determination Act half of the members must be employee representatives or company independent representatives of trade unions. The Supervisory Board was elected for the next five years at the AGM in May 2009.

  • Employee representatives: Sabine Bauer ( Deputy Chairman ), Dieter Hauenstein, Wolfgang Jäger, Roland Nosko, Hans Ruprecht, Heidi Thaler - Veh
  • Other members: Igor Landau (Chairman), Willi Schwerdtle ( Vice Chairman ), Stefan Jentzsch, Herbert Kauffmann, Alexander Popov, Christian Tourres


Status: March 2010

Financial figures of the Adidas Group

As of December 31, 2011


The well-known trademarks are the three stripes and the logo with the three leaves ( Trefoil / trefoil ), which is intended to symbolize the Olympic spirit, which connects the three continental plates. In the early 1990s helped the singer Madonna and, later, athletes such as David Beckham and Yelena Isinbayeva the three stripes to success trademark. Even before the band Run DMC had published the song " My Adidas " in 1986, in which they had the rap scene in the very popular Adidas model " Superstar" set a musical monument. The band Korn, which occurred in the first years in Adidas suits, adidas has the song brought out. Previous models, such as the tennis shoe " Stan Smith " were reissued as " Adidas Originals ".

The brand - the strips

For the World Cup 1974, the national football federation of the Netherlands ( KNVB ) had entered into a contract with the company Adidas. The national team played in orange shirts, on the sleeves, the three stripes, the flag of Adidas. Johan Cruyff, the captain and star of the team, but at the time had an exclusive contract with the rival Puma. Puma endowed him with the legendary Puma King boots. Cruijff refused to play in an Adidas outfit. Then Adidas asked the company Erima to produce a special version of the Dutch jersey. This version graced only two strips. Cruijffs teammates who Kerkhof twins, who had also signed a contract with Puma, the idea Cruijffs joined. So the jersey with the two strip was worn at the World Championships in 1974 and 1978.

Adidas deals today in a different way with the two stripes: Adidas sued in recent years, some companies in Europe to ban them to produce clothing with two stripes as a design element. The rationale for this was that the similarity could lead to the protected trademark of Adidas confusion. Larger brands pounded until the last instance on their stripes - with success. The European Court of Justice (ECJ ) in Luxembourg dismissed in October 2003 returned a lawsuit by Adidas against the Dutch company Fitness World Trading. In 2000, Adidas had already lost a similar lawsuit against Marca Mode before the ECJ. The judges considered in two cases: There is no likelihood of confusion. In Europe, the strips are so clear - as long as there are not three.

Known models

Especially in the 1970s and 1980s there were several shoe styles that had cult status at that time. Here are the first canvas shoes Nice and Adria to call, and the white leather sneaker Rome with blue stripes. Later (about 1984) followed the lead boots Spirit, who has already ushered in the era of pastel colors. Starting in 1985, then the models Lucy, Twister, Jolly and Sweety came on the market, which were also in various pastel colors and achieved a scarcely known distribution. They were not as sophisticated as today's sports shoes, but extremely light and comfortable, which is why they were so popular in addition to fashionable colors. Common colors were, inter alia, light yellow, light blue, pink and white. With the end of the pastel - era shoes then disappeared after 1987 increasingly from the streets and from the sports halls. Nowadays, the shoes from this era are almost no longer be found, and also as part of the retro wave, there was not a new edition of these models.

Other well-known models from the 80s are: Allround, Attitude, Country, Ewing, Gazelle, Grand Prix Handball Spezial, Jeans, Malibu, Marathon, Masters, Match, Orion, player, Rivalry, Rome, Samba, Titan, Trophy and Vienna.

Emblem and the Olympic Games

In a dispute over the size of the manufacturer's logo when placing on Olympic athletes wear the International Olympic Committee (IOC ) decided that his Adidas stripes in future must not present striking than the competition, by their logos. Permits are only 20 square centimeters on the athletes wear.

The competitors Nike and Puma criticized along with the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry that the Adidas logo will presents striking. Adidas justified this by saying that the stripes no brand name, but a design element are. For the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens Adidas once again got an exemption.

The IOC based its decision on the fact that one must avoid an excess of corporate advertising on sports clothing, and that all producers should be treated the same. However, Adidas announced that despite the incidents, to remain faithful to continue its " tradition as an Olympic brand ."

Olympic games

In September 2007, the Organising Committee ( LOCOG ) 2012 Olympic Games announced at a press conference with the Adidas leadership that Adidas Official Sportswear Partner for the Olympic Games in 2012, as well as the Paralympics in London will be. It will be the largest investment by Adidas in a single sporting event in the UK. The investment includes the makeup of athletes and volunteers, royalties for merchandising and marketing activities prior to the event. In total, more than 70,000 volunteers from Adidas are equipped.

Major football events

The International Football Federation and Adidas are already partners since 1956 and also at the Football World Cup 2010 in South Africa, the official match ball of the German sporting goods company was put out of Herzogenaurach. Adidas has also still a right of first refusal on television advertising and preferred advertising space in the World Cup stadiums. Including the 2014 World Cup cost the licenses for the major soccer events ( along with the Women's World Cup and the Junior World Championships ) 250 million euros.

In addition, Adidas has sponsored several well-known football team, here's a selection:

  • Germany: 1st Bundesliga: Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Hamburger SV, FC Bayern Munich, 1 FC Nürnberg, Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg
  • 2 Bundesliga: FC Ingolstadt, VfR Aalen

2006 World Cup Adidas built the stadium "Adidas World of Football" in front of the Reichstag in Berlin and brought for each participating team a shoe in the jersey colors out, with an additional country-or football typical character at the heel. Thus, in the designed for Argentina shoe is on the "Hand of God ", alluded to in the for the Netherlands carried by Johan Cruyff shirt number " 14" and in England in the only World Cup victory in 1966.


Adidas is always criticized because the company does not respect the labor rights of the people in the countries of production. For example, the factory workers are forced into the southern Chinese city of Dongguan to work late into the night to make balls. 2011 were dismissed without severance pay in Indonesia 2800 factory workers of the former Adidas supplier PT Kizone. Adidas refuses to pay the outstanding sum of EUR 1.4 million. After global pressure build up Adidas compelled to meet with the workers, this only food vouchers were offered to the value of 43 Euro.

Fierce criticism came Adidas 2006 due to his training practice. With the Adidas campaign must educate denounced the low training rate of just two per cent compared to the other DAX companies DGB youth at Adidas. The aim of the campaign was to make the public aware of the lean training rates, and for other large companies in Germany, attentive.

The headquarters of the Group is located in Germany, while the products are now manufactured almost exclusively outside Germany. The production was largely shifted to Southeast Asia (see, among others, Yue Yuen Industrial). This is Adidas, similar to its competitor Nike, accused to benefit from exploitation and child labor in so-called sweatshops (see Black Markenfirmen ).

Adidas supported the so-called Gumball 3000, a private car races on European roads, which is held annually since 1999 and is regarded in Germany as an illegal race. Died in 2007 an uninvolved Albanians in the collision with a participating vehicle whose driver had ignored a ban on overtaking. The wife of the Albanian succumbed after a few days in a coma from her injuries. Only then is Adidas distanced itself from the rally and got out of the sponsorship.

According to the highest circulation Brazilian newspaper O Globo and the German taz, the Group invited in May 2009 in Rio de Janeiro to a "Adidas House Party" in a decorated with swastikas and Nazi memorabilia villa.