Adidas was founded in Herzogenaurach, near Nuremberg, Germany, in 1948. In 1924 the brothers Adolph and Rudolf Dassler had founded the company "Gebrüder Dassler OHG", specialized in the production of shoes; in 1948, however, the two brothers begun getting no longer along, so they decided to separate. Adolph (Adi) Dassler created Adidas, with the famous three-stripes logo (1949), while his brother Rudolph started his own business, a company now known as "Puma". The Dasslers, with several models of shoes, were also the official supplier of the German teams during the Olympic Games in 1928 and 1932. When the black American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Olympic Games in Berlin, standing in front of the German dictator Adolph Hitler, Owen was wearing Dassler's shoes.
Adi Dassler has been the first non-American brand to enter the "American Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame" and the first sport brand to sponsor personalities outside the sport world (Run DMC). 60s and 70s have been a time of great splendor and success for Adidas.
In 1971, during the "Match of the Century" between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, both boxers were wearing Adidas shoes. Adi Dassler died in 1978 at the age of 78, and the company passed to his wife Kathe. Six years later also Kathe passed away, leaving the company to Horst, the son, who unfortunately died just three years after his mother. After Horst's death, Adidas has gone through difficult times, until Bernard Tapie arrived, making great efforts to save the company.
The real Adidas rescuers have been the Run DMC, a famous hip-hop group of the 80s that even wrote a song titled "My Adidas" and which is providing Adidas profit and fame still today. Trainers and clothing marked the starting point of Adidas "career", and the production was then extended to gadgets and sports watches. It is said that the logo with the "clover" was inspired by the laurel wreath given to the winners of sports games in the ancient Greece, representing the Olympic spirit devoted to the pursuit of victory. It was introduced in 1972, when Adidas became the official supplier of the Olympics in Monaco.
In an attempt to relaunch the brand, Adidas realized, in 1991, the logo with the three famous "performance" stripes.