Adi Dassler Biography: The Entrepreneur Behind Adidas’ Success, Life & Wealth

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Adi Dassler, born on November 3, 1900, in Herzogenaurach, Germany, was a legendary entrepreneur who founded Adidas, one of the world’s leading sports apparel brands. He was a true pioneer in the sports industry and played a vital role in the development of modern-day sports footwear.

Adi Dassler’s journey to success began when he and his brother, Rudolf Dassler, started a shoe company called Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) in 1924. They started by making shoes in their mother’s laundry room, and their early innovations included creating lightweight and flexible soccer shoes with cleats.

However, after World War II, Adi and Rudolf had a falling out, and the company split into two: Rudolf went on to create Puma, while Adi founded Adidas in 1949. The name Adidas came from the combination of Adi’s first and last names.

Adi’s passion for sports and innovation fueled his company’s success. He created many iconic designs, including the first track spikes with removable studs, which allowed athletes to adjust the length of the spikes for different track conditions. He also introduced the first shoes with screw-in studs for soccer players, providing them with better traction on the field.

Adi Dassler’s wealth was built through his innovative and successful sports company. At the time of his death in 1978, his net worth was estimated at $3.5 million, a significant amount for the time. However, his legacy and impact on the sports industry are immeasurable.

Adi Dassler’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance, innovation, and a passion for what you do. His legacy continues to inspire future generations of entrepreneurs and sports enthusiasts alike.

Here’s a timeline of Adi Dassler’s life:

  • November 3, 1900: Adi Dassler is born in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
  • 1920: Adi Dassler starts making his own sports shoes in his mother’s wash kitchen in Herzogenaurach.
  • 1924: Adi and his brother Rudolf Dassler found the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
  • 1928: Adi and Rudolf Dassler introduce the first spiked running shoes with hand-forged spikes.
  • 1936: Adi Dassler’s shoes are worn by Jesse Owens during his record-breaking performance at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
  • 1949: Adi Dassler officially registers his company as Adidas AG, derived from his own name Adi Dassler.
  • 1954: The German national football team wins the World Cup wearing Adidas boots with screw-in studs, solidifying the brand’s position in the football industry.
  • 1978: Adi Dassler passes away at the age of 77 in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
  • 1990: Adidas AG goes public on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
  • 2021: Adidas AG reports a revenue of €23.1 billion and employs over 60,000 people worldwide.

This timeline highlights the major events in Adi Dassler’s life, from his humble beginnings in Herzogenaurach to the establishment of one of the most recognizable sports brands in the world.

Here are 5 interesting facts about Adi Dassler and 5 quotes attributed to him:

5 Interesting Facts:

  1. Adi Dassler’s shoes were worn by athletes in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, including Jesse Owens who won four gold medals.
  2. Adi Dassler’s company was originally named “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) before he renamed it to “Adidas” in 1949.
  3. Adi Dassler is credited with inventing the first football boots with screw-in studs, revolutionizing the sport.
  4. During World War II, Adi Dassler and his brother Rudolf were on opposite sides and had a bitter falling out, resulting in Rudolf founding Puma.
  5. Adi Dassler was known for personally testing his shoes and constantly improving upon them, often working with athletes to get their feedback.


  1. “If you want to win, you have to have the right shoes.”
  2. “The only way to know what the athlete needs is to ask him.”
  3. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
  4. “The athlete doesn’t need a development department, he needs a shoe.”
  5. “It’s not about the shoes. It’s about what you do in them.”

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