How Did ADIDAS Get Its Name?

The company name was taken from its founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler whose first name was shortened to the nickname Adi. Together with the first three letters of his surname it formed ADIDAS.

Adolf Dassler lived in the German town of Herzogenaurach with his brother Rudolph Dassler. In between the two World Wars they built a successful business making shoes specifically for sports called Gebruder Dassler.

The brothers fell out because they couldn't agree. Adi was a craftsman who loved nothing better than the peace of his workshop, whilst his brother was a more gregarious party loving salesman. They should have complimented each other, but sadly did not and went their separate ways - Adolf built up the ADIDAS business and Rudolph built the PUMA business.

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They even clashed during the wars. Rudolph was arrested on accusations of being in the intelligence service and after the war he accused his brother of betraying him and did his best to upset his control in his company.

The rivalry was such that locals could tell by looking at each others footwear to see which brother was supported!

The feud helped the brothers grow. Even a rival company in the town could not compete with them and closed. Their hatred fuelled their business acumen and sharpened their innovation.

Adi Dassler died in 1959, aged 59 years. His brother Rudolph Dassler died in 1974, aged 76 years.

The ADIDAS and PUMA companies are no longer run or owned by the Dassler family. However there was a controversial appointment of a descendant of Rudolph to the board of ADIDAS as the head of legal affairs in 2004.

ADIDAS remains the larger of the firms with over 15,000 employees. PUMA have about 6000 employees.

More word origins.

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