Adi Dassler invented the Adidas brand during the 1920s; the brand name is an abbreviated version of his name. Adi was an avid sports fan, but also a manufacturer of shoes, and he had a vision: to invent trainers that would allow a sportsperson to perform at an optimal level, while protecting the feet from injury by providing specialist, and supportive designs. This idea is second nature to our modern sensibilities, we consider it a given feature of sports clothes that they are protective and supportive, but of his era, this was a revolutionary idea.
Adidas trainers proved immensely popular, and within a short space of time, Adi Dassler's company were producing more than 100 pairs of trainers a day – quite a feat for a newly flourishing company. During the late 1930s, the Adidas brand began extending its range of merchandise; they began by creating trainers designed specifically for certain sports. For instance, they began manufacturing tennis shoes, ice skates, and golf.
When Adi Dassler first began trading under the Adidas brand name, he had a business partner, his brother, Rudolph. During the 1940s, their visions of how the company would proceed began to diverge, and they choose to take different paths. Adi continued with the creation of Adidas trainers, but his brother, Rudolph, founded a rival company: Puma. As a way of differentiating the two marks, Adi decided to add the three stripes, part of the iconic imagery of the Adidas brand.
During the 1950s, the Adidas brand truly came into its own. With the creation of its first range of football boots, complete with studs, the company attracted the attention of all the major football leagues throughout the world, which, of course, proved to be exceptionally lucrative. Indeed, the Adidas brand designed the football boots worn by the winning team in the World Cup 1954, which took place in Switzerland. In the mid 1950s, 1956 to be precise, the Adidas brand became part sponsors of the Olympic Games in Melbourne, and needless to say, after this, there was no stopping them. Today, Adidas is one of the best-known brand names in the entire world, an incredible feat for such humble beginnings. New factories came in to existence regularly, and the brand spread throughout the capitalist world.
It was not until the 1960s, however, that Adidas extended its range and began manufacturing sports clothing. In 1963, they also began to expand their merchandise to encompass sports equipment too, if it was not for this move, we would not see Adidas footballs at major football sporting events – an image that has truly become iconic of the 'beautiful game'.
The 1970s saw the first 'Trefoil Logo' appearing on clothing, equipment, and footwear. Adidas incorporated the Trefoil Logo as a means for people to tell imitation Adidas goods, from the genuine articles. In the 1980s, the Adidas brand became involved in the wider cultivation and celebration of sports in general, Horst Dassler founded 'International Sports, Culture, and Leisure'.
2000 saw a return to previous Adidas styles of clothing, when the first Adidas Originals stores opened their doors in America and South Korea. Today, Adidas Originals continues to be an extremely popular fashion.