10 Things You Didn’t Know About Adidas

Adidas, renowned worldwide for its distinctive brand of sportswear, footwear, and accessories, carries a rich legacy that has woven itself into the fabric of global sport and fashion culture. Yet, there are interesting facts about the company that even devoted Adidas fans may not be privy to. Let’s dive into these ten intriguing facts about Adidas that you probably weren’t aware of.

1. Adidas and Puma Were Created by Two Brothers

Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of the Adidas story is rooted in sibling rivalry. Brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler founded the company together in their mother’s laundry room shortly after World War I. However, they had a severe feud that led to Rudolf leaving to establish Puma and Adolf continuing with Adidas.

This infamous feud not only birthed two of the most successful sportswear brands in the world but also transformed the small town of Herzogenaurach, Germany, their birthplace, into a sportswear production hub.

2. The Name Adidas Doesn’t Have Athletic Origins

While one could easily surmise that the name Adidas is a creative acronym related to sports or fitness, the truth is far simpler. Adidas is a portmanteau of founder Adolf Dassler’s nickname “Adi” and the first three letters of his surname.

This dispels the popular, but incorrect myth that Adidas stands for “All Day I Dream About Sports.” While the company’s focus is indeed centered around sports, its name doesn’t reflect this in the form of an acronym as widely believed.

3. The Iconic Three-Stripes Design Was Bought

Adi adopted the three-striped design to help distinguish Adidas shoes from other companies. However, the design wasn’t his original creation. Adidas bought the trademark for the well-known ‘three stripes’ from Finnish sportswear company Karhu, reportedly for today’s equivalent of 1600 euros and two bottles of whiskey!

Despite its humble acquisition, the iconic three stripes have become one of the most recognizable logos in the world—standing for quality, the spirit of sport, and the Adidas brand.

4. Adidas’s Relationship with Athletes

Adidas has long prioritized a deep relationship with sports and athletes. In fact, the company’s breakthrough came at the 1954 World Cup when the German national football team wore Adidas boots with removable studs developed by Adi. The innovative feature provided the German team with a significant advantage on the wet grounds they played on, leading them to victory.

Adidas continues to foster partnerships with athletes and sports leagues around the world, dedicating itself to the creation of sportswear designed to enhance performance and break records.

5. Adidas Made the First Running Shoe for the Road

Ever at the forefront of innovation, Adidas’s development of the first road running shoe changed the game for runners worldwide. The ‘Achill’ came with a shock-absorbent heel and was built for long-distance running. It was named after the Achilles tendon where heel cushioning is most needed.

This invention paved the way for many technological advancements in sports footwear, not just by Adidas, but by other brands eager to provide athletes with the best gear to optimize their performance.

6. The Motto Has Changed Over the Years

Adidas’s corporate motto has undergone several changes over the years. The company’s first slogan, ‘Adidas is all in,’ debuted in 2011. It was later replaced by ‘Boost your run,’ reflecting the company’s focus on innovation in sportswear design.

Currently, the Adidas mantra is ‘Impossible is Nothing,’ a reflection of the brand’s ethos of pushing boundaries and achieving the extraordinary through sports.

7. Adidas Creates Over 900 Million Products a Year

On average, Adidas produces over 900 million pieces of sportswear, accessories and hardware annually. This staggering figure translates into more than 1.6 million items every day!

This immense output underscores Adidas’s significant global presence, catering to millions of sports enthusiasts, athletes, and fashion-conscious consumers worldwide.

8. A Commitment to Sustainability

Adidas has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the environment. The company’s Planet Love initiative seeks to minimize the environmental impact of its production processes. They’ve also developed products like the Ultraboost Parley running shoe, which is made with plastic waste from oceans.

In addition, Adidas is committed to using only recycled polyester in their products by 2024, highlighting the brand’s dedication to creating a sustainable future.

9. There’s an Adidas Island

Apologies to those imagining an island draped in Adidas stripes and filled with enthusiasts of the brand – Adidas Island is actually a metaphor. It refers to the company’s strategy to foster talent and innovation in isolation, i.e., independent from the larger company structure.

This strategy has led to game-changing advancements in Adidas products and will continue to serve as the birthplace for Adidas’s cutting-edge designs and concepts.

10. They Own Other Big Sports Brands

Adidas’s expansive reach in the sports industry isn’t just limited to their own branded products. They have also acquired other renowned names in the sports industry. The most significant of these is Reebok, purchased by Adidas in 2005 to strengthen its North American and female demographics.

The company has also owned golf company TaylorMade until 2017, and currently, it also owns Runtastic, a fitness app company, further diversifying adidas’s presence in the world of sport and fitness.


There you have it—ten intriguing facts about Adidas. This company’s story is more than just about sportswear; it is one of innovation, resilience, and relentless pursuit of excellence. Adidas isn’t just a brand, but a global phenomenom committed to transforming athletes and athletic performance worldwide.

Adidas Group Profile
Adidas Sustainability Approach