adidas Group History


Please find below a summary of the adidas Group’s history. You will find more detailed information on this topic in the download section of this site.


The foundation

18 August – adidas is registered as a company, named after its founder: ‘Adi’ from Adolf and ‘Das’ from Dassler.


The ‘Miracle of Bern’

1954 – The ‘Miracle of Bern’ Germany battle Hungary with a competitive advantage. They are wearing adidas soccer boots which for the first time feature removable studs.



Driven by a desire to help all athletes committed to performance, adidas manufactures equipment for what some consider “fringe sports”. Unconventional high jumper Dick Fosbury launches himself up and over in adidas footwear.


The “adidas” team wins

Crowning moment: Franz Beckenbauer, the “Kaiser”, raising the World Cup in victory salute. Germany had just beaten Holland 2-1 in the 1974 final.


The transition

After Adi Dassler’s death, Adi’s wife Käthe, his son Horst, and his daughters carry on the business.


With a new management

Under the CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus, adidas is moving from being a manufacturing and sales based company to a marketing company.


adidas goes public

Flotation of the company on the Frankfurt and Paris Stock Exchange.


A splendid year

The “three-stripes company” equips 6,000 Olympic athletes from 33 countries. adidas athletes win 220 medals, including 70 gold. Apparel sales increase 50%.


adidas-Salomon AG

adidas AG acquires the Salomon Group with the brands Salomon, TaylorMade, Mavic and Bonfire in December 1997. The new company is named adidas-Salomon AG.


The new brands

The integration of the new brands is gaining momentum. The new TaylorMade FireSole clubs boost sales. Salomon in-line skates take off with high double-digit growth during the first half of 1999.


New management

Following personnel changes, the new management initiates an ambitious Growth and Efficiency Program. Major sports events such as the European Soccer Championship EURO 2000™ and the Olympic Summer Games, where swimmer Ian Thorpe takes three gold medals, contribute to the company’s success.


Sale of Salomon

The Salomon Group (including Salomon, Mavic, Bonfire, Cliché and Arc’Teryx) is being sold to Amer Sports in October 2005. The new adidas Group is focusing even more on its core strength in the athletic footwear and apparel market as well as the growing golf category. The legal name of the company will change to “adidas AG” in May/June 2006.


adidas-Salomon AG acquires Reebok

The closing of the Reebok transaction on January 31, 2006 marks a new chapter in the history of the adidas Group. By combining two of the most respected and well-known brands in the worldwide sporting goods industry, the new Group will benefit from a more competitive worldwide platform, well-defined and complementary brand identities, a wider range of products, and a stronger presence across teams, athletes, events and leagues.


adidas Group presents strategic business plan

In November 2010, the Group unveiled its 2015 strategic business plan named “Route 2015”. This plan is the most comprehensive the adidas Group has ever prepared, incorporating all brands, sales channels and Group functions globally.


adidas Group acquires Five Ten

On 3. November 2011, the adidas Group announced the acquisition of the outdoor specialist Five Ten. Five Ten is a leading brand in the technical outdoor market and within the outdoor action sport community. The brand represents an excellent addition to the adidas Outdoor portfolio and allows the adidas Group to expand into complementary market segments.