All Day I Dream About Sports. 

Is that what you also thought Adidas stood for? What if I told you that it was pure coincidence! A really amazing coincidence at that, but it wasn’t something the company actually thought of. Most of us own at least one pair of Adidas shoes or slippers or sandals. But how much do we really know about it? The story behind Adidas is very fascinating and being the huge brand that it is, it’s surprising that most people don’t know as much about it as they should.

Having said that, here are 18 facts that you should know about its founder and the company itself:

1. Adidas is actually short for Adolf Dassler or Adi Dassler, the founder of the German shoe company.

2. The humble Dassler family sold homemade slippers to put food on the table.

3. Adolf made his first shoe in his mother’s wash kitchen after he returned from serving in the 1st World War.


4. Adolf and his elder brother, Rudolf, started the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, but they parted ways after WWII, which led to the formation of Rudolf’s own shoe company – Puma! Which rivaled his brother’s.


5. Both brothers were part of the Nazi army in WWII. While Adi stayed at the factory to make weapons for the Germans, Rudolf was sent to the east to fight the red army. He was the bigger Nazi sympathizer of the two. Out of the many reasons of why they split up, this was also cited as one.

b’Source: cnn’

6. Puma was initially called Ruda, because Rudolf Dassler tried stealing his brother’s idea. But it did not sound as cool as Adidas so he went for Puma.


7. The town of Herzogenaurach, where the family stayed and the initial factories stood, got divided into two. Those who loved Puma & those who loved Adidas. It came to be known as the “the town of bent necks”. because people would first look at the person’s footwear and then greet or ignore them.


8. The two rival football clubs in the town, ASV Herzogenaurach club & 1 FC Herzogenaurach, have for all these years, been sponsored by Adidas & Puma respectively.

9. Adidas is the largest manufacturer of sportswear in Europe and the second largest in the world, after Nike.


10. The first piece of apparel created by Adidas was the Franz Beckenbauer tracksuit, in 1967. Named after the German football legend.


11. Before Adidas gained fame, Jesse Owens wore a Dassler shoe, specially designed for him, and won 4 gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Adolf said that this served as a major factor for the brand gaining popularity.

12. In the 2015-16, replacing Nike, Adidas signed a 10-year kit deal with Manchester United for £750 million, making it the most valuable kit deal in the history of sports.


13. Adidas also owns Reebok. It bought the company for $3.8 million in 2005.


14. The company sponsors & also has a share of ownership in German football giants Bayern Munich.

15. Adi Dassler was also honoured with a statue outside the Adi Dassler Stadium in Herzogenaurauch.


16. While Rudolf’s family lost the Puma empire in the 1980s, Adolf’s descendants lost control of Adidas on the day West Germany, wearing the three stripes, entered the final of the 1990 World Cup. It was the 4th of July.

17. The current CEO of the company is Danish businessman Kasper Rørsted, who played handball for his country Denmark at the youth level. As of 2016, Adidas’ approaching market capitalization is around $19 billion. (source: investopedia)


18. Adolf died on 6th September, 1978, while Rudolf breathed his last on 27th October, 1974. They are both buried in the same cemetery but as far as possible from each other. The two never reconciled.

So, the next time you lace up your Adidas shoes, remember you are wearing a piece of history. Let’s salute the humble man who worked towards a greater good of sports, not because he could but because he wanted to. Happy birth anniversary, Adi Dassler!