Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Adidas is a German sports apparel corporation. The company is named after its founder, Adolf (Adi) Dassler, who started producing shoes in the 1920s in Herzogenaurach near Nuremberg. The company's clothing and shoe designs typically include three parallel stripes of the same color, and the same motif is incorporated into adidas' official logos.
Rudolf Dassler, Adi's brother, founded a rival company, Puma.
The history of the company, as presented by its official web site, is incomplete, perhaps because it is indirectly linked to financial scandals.
After a period of serious trouble following the death of Adolf Dassler's son Horst Dassler in 1987, the company was bought in 1990 by Bernard Tapie, for 1.6 billion French francs ($320 million), which Tapie borrowed. Tapie was at the time a famous specialist of rescuing bankrupt companies, a business on which he built his fortune.
In 1992, Tapie was unable to pay the interest from his loan. He asked the Crédit Lyonnais bank to sell adidas, and the bank subsequently converted the outstanding debt owed into equity of the enterprise, which was unusual for then-current French banking practice. Apparently, the state-owned bank had tried to get Tapie out of dire financial straits as a personal favour to Tapie, reportedly owing to the fact that Tapie was a minister of Urban Affairs (ministre de la Ville) in the French government at the time. Forgetting why the bank actually bought adidas, Tapie later sued the bank, because he felt spoiled by the sale.
In February 1993, Crédit Lyonnais sold adidas to Robert Louis-Dreyfus , a friend of Bernard Tapie (and cousin of Julia Louis-Dreyfus from the Seinfeld TV series). Robert Louis-Dreyfus became the new CEO of the company. He is also the president of the Olympique de Marseille football team, to which Tapie is closely linked.
Tapie went bankrupt himself in 1994. He was the object of several lawsuits, notably related to match fixing at the football club. He spent 6 months in La Santé prison in Paris in 1997 after being sentenced to 18.
In 1997, adidas AG acquired the Salomon Group , and its corporate name was changed to adidas-Salomon AG.
In 1998, adidas sued the NCAA over their rules limiting the size and number of commercial logos on team uniforms and apparel. adidas withdrew the suit, and the two groups established guidelines as to what three-stripe designs would be considered uses of the adidas trademark. 
Since 2002 adidas have a lucrative deal with rapper Missy Elliott. While adidas gives her custom-made extravagant clothes and shoes the artist thoroughly promotes adidas by wearing these items and having dancers etc. wear them in her music videos. This has gained adidas appeal to urban communities in the U.S.A and EU.
In 2003, adidas filed a lawsuit in British court challenging Fitness World Trading's use of a two-stripe motif similar to adidas' three stripes. The court ruled that despite the simplicity of the mark, Fitness World's use was infringing because the public could establish a link between that use and adidas' mark.  
In 2005, adidas introduced the adidas_1 , the first ever production shoe to utilize a microprocessor. Dubbed by the company "The World's First Intelligent Shoe" it features a microprocessor capable of performing 5 million calculations per second that automatically adjusts the shoe's level of cushioning to suit its environment. The shoe requires a small, user replaceable battery that lasts for approximately 100 hours of running. It currently retails for $250 (USD).
- CEO: Herbert Hainer
- CFO: Robin Stalker
- Managing Director, India: Andreas Gellner
- CEO 1993-2001: Robert Louis-Dreyfus . He has been highly successful with managing the company until 2001. His self-admitted secret was simply copying what Nike and Reebok did.
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