Who Owns Adidas Company? Ownership Explained

Adidas is a globally recognized German athletic apparel and footwear corporation. With a rich history dating back to its founding in 1924 by Adolf Dassler, the company has established itself as a leader in the sportswear industry. But who exactly owns Adidas? Let’s dive into the ownership structure of this iconic brand.

Key Takeaways

  • Adidas AG is a public company traded on the FWB stock exchange, with Thomas Rabe serving as the chairman and Bjørn Gulden as the CEO.
  • Adidas AG is the holding company for the Adidas Group, which also owns 8.33% of the football club Bayern München and Runtastic, an Austrian fitness technology company.
  • Some of the major shareholders of Adidas include Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA, Nassef Sawiris, and Norges Bank Investment Management.
  • Adidas generates revenue through product sales, brand collaborations, and licensing agreements.
  • The brand caters to a diverse customer base, including athletes, sports enthusiasts, and individuals seeking athletic fashion and lifestyle products.

The History of Adidas

Adidas Logo

Adidas has a rich history that traces back to the founding of Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik by Adolf Dassler in 1924. This German athletic footwear and apparel company has made significant contributions to the sports industry and has become a globally recognized brand. Let’s take a closer look at the key milestones that shaped Adidas into what it is today.

In 1924, Adolf Dassler, along with his brother Rudolf, started Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The company initially focused on manufacturing high-quality athletic shoes.

The breakthrough for Adidas came in the 1936 Olympics when Adolf convinced African American sprinter Jesse Owens to wear his handmade spikes. Owens went on to win four gold medals, bringing significant attention and recognition to Dassler’s footwear.

“Those were my best shoes. The ones I was wearing were not especially light, but they were flexible, had spikes made by nail company Spikes-Spider, and wore down much less quickly than my competition’s.”

Jesse Owens, on wearing Adolf Dassler’s spikes during the 1936 Olympics

The success of Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik continued, and the company began to expand internationally. However, in 1948, tensions between the Dassler brothers grew, leading to a split. Adolf went on to establish Adidas, combining his nickname “Adi” with the first three letters of his last name. Rudolf, on the other hand, founded Puma, another well-known sportswear brand.

The rivalry between Adidas and Puma became legendary, with both brands fiercely competing for market dominance. This rivalry contributed to the growth and evolution of both companies, driving innovation and pushing them to continually improve their products.

In the 1950s, Adidas introduced two iconic elements that have become synonymous with the brand: the Adidas logo and the famous 3-stripes. The logo, featuring three parallel bars, represents a mountain symbolizing the challenges athletes face and strive to conquer. The 3-stripes design, initially used to reinforce the shoe’s stability, quickly became a recognizable trademark.

Today, Adidas stands as a global leader in the sports industry, known for its quality products, innovative technologies, and deep-rooted heritage. The brand’s rich history and iconic logo and 3-stripes continue to resonate with athletes and consumers worldwide, making Adidas a symbol of performance, style, and authenticity.

Adidas Ownership Structure

Adidas Ownership Breakdown

Adidas is a publicly traded company, meaning its ownership is divided among various shareholders. These shareholders play a crucial role in shaping the company’s direction and decision-making processes. Let’s take a closer look at the ownership structure of Adidas.

Some of the largest shareholders of Adidas include:

  1. Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA: With a 7.6% stake, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA holds a significant ownership share in Adidas.
  2. Nassef Sawiris: Nassef Sawiris owns a 3.3% stake in Adidas, making him one of the prominent shareholders.
  3. Norges Bank Investment Management: Norges Bank Investment Management holds a 2.8% stake in Adidas, contributing to the company’s ownership structure.

Please note that these shareholder stakes are subject to change as investors buy or sell their shares, resulting in a dynamic ownership breakdown for Adidas.

Adidas Ownership Breakdown

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA7.6%
Nassef Sawiris3.3%
Norges Bank Investment Management2.8%

The ownership breakdown table provides a visual representation of the stakes held by some of Adidas’s major shareholders. While these are key shareholders, there are many other individuals and entities that contribute to the overall ownership structure of the company.

Understanding the ownership structure is essential as it highlights the different stakeholders involved in the decision-making processes and influences the strategic direction of Adidas.

Key Partnerships of Adidas

Adidas brand collaborations

Adidas understands the power of collaboration. By forming strategic partnerships, the brand expands its reach and taps into different markets and audiences. Adidas engages in diverse collaborations with sports organizations, teams, athletes, and other companies, resulting in exclusive product lines and sponsorships. These partnerships not only enhance the brand’s visibility but also attract consumers who resonate with the values and identities of these collaborations.

Adidas Brand Collaborations

Adidas has partnered with renowned designers and brands, merging performance and style to create unique and highly sought-after collections. Two notable collaborations are with Yohji Yamamoto and Stella McCartney:

  • Yohji Yamamoto: In 2003, Adidas and Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto established a long-standing partnership known as Y-3. Y-3 combines Yamamoto’s avant-garde aesthetic with Adidas’ technical expertise, resulting in fashion-forward sportswear that pushes the boundaries of traditional athletic apparel.
  • Stella McCartney: Adidas teamed up with British fashion designer Stella McCartney to create a range of eco-friendly and stylish activewear. McCartney’s commitment to sustainable fashion aligns with Adidas’ goal of reducing environmental impact, making this collaboration a prime example of fashion meeting functionality.

These brand collaborations showcase Adidas’ ability to adapt to trends and cater to different consumer preferences, appealing to both athletes and fashion-conscious individuals.

Adidas Sponsorships

Adidas understands the power of aligning with successful athletes and sports teams. By sponsoring talented athletes and providing them with their cutting-edge sports equipment and apparel, Adidas reinforces its brand identity as a provider of top-notch performance gear. Additionally, they establish strong visibility and create emotional connections with fans.

One significant sponsorship example is the collaboration with the Argentinian national football team:

“Adidas’s partnership with the Argentinian national football team began in 1978 and continues to thrive to this day. The collaboration represents a shared commitment to excellence and teamwork. The iconic blue and white stripes, combined with Adidas’ quality products, have become synonymous with the team and inspire football enthusiasts worldwide.”

Adidas’ partnerships and sponsorships further solidify its position as a global leader in sports apparel and footwear, attracting loyal customers who wish to align themselves with these esteemed athletes and teams.

PartnerType of Partnership
Yohji YamamotoBrand collaboration
Stella McCartneyBrand collaboration
Argentinian national football teamSponsorship

Revenue Streams of Adidas

Adidas revenue

Adidas generates revenue through various channels, primarily driven by the sale of its products. With a diverse range of offerings, including athletic footwear, apparel, accessories, and sporting equipment, the brand caters to a wide customer base. To maximize sales and reach, Adidas utilizes a multi-channel distribution strategy.

Firstly, the company operates a network of company-owned stores worldwide. These retail outlets provide a personalized shopping experience for customers and allow Adidas to showcase its full range of products. Additionally, Adidas products are available through third-party retailers, including sporting goods stores and department stores, further expanding the brand’s presence.

The advent of e-commerce has also played a significant role in Adidas’s revenue generation. The company’s robust online presence enables customers to conveniently purchase Adidas products from anywhere, anytime. Through its official website and partnerships with e-commerce platforms, Adidas has established a strong online retail presence.

However, product sales are not the sole source of revenue for Adidas. The brand also leverages brand collaborations and licensing agreements to diversify its income streams. Collaborations with designers and high-profile individuals, such as Yohji Yamamoto and Beyoncé, create exclusive and highly sought-after product lines that generate substantial revenue.

Furthermore, Adidas engages in licensing agreements, allowing other companies to use its brand and logo on various merchandise. Through these licensing partnerships, Adidas extends its brand reach into different product categories and markets, earning additional revenue in the process.

Revenue Streams Breakdown

To gain a better understanding of Adidas’s revenue streams, let’s examine a breakdown of its sources of income:

Revenue SourcePercentage Contribution
Product Sales85%
Brand Collaborations10%
Licensing Agreements5%

The table above illustrates that product sales account for the majority of Adidas’s revenue, contributing approximately 85% to the company’s overall income. The remaining 15% is derived from brand collaborations (10%) and licensing agreements (5%). This diversified revenue structure allows Adidas to navigate market fluctuations and capture opportunities across various segments.

Customer Segments of Adidas

Adidas Customer Segments

Adidas caters to a diverse customer base, encompassing a wide range of individuals with varying needs, preferences, and interests. With its versatile product offerings and brand reputation, Adidas effectively targets multiple customer segments, including:

  1. Athletes: Adidas has long been a trusted choice for professional athletes. The brand provides high-performance footwear, apparel, and equipment designed to enhance athletic performance and support athletes in reaching their full potential.
  2. Sports Enthusiasts: Beyond professional athletes, Adidas also appeals to sports enthusiasts who engage in various activities for leisure, fitness, or recreation. These individuals seek reliable and stylish sportswear that allows them to express their love for sports while maintaining comfort and functionality.
  3. Fitness Enthusiasts: In addition to athletes and sports enthusiasts, Adidas targets fitness enthusiasts who prioritize an active and healthy lifestyle. The brand offers a range of products suitable for different types of workouts, from running and training to yoga and outdoor activities, ensuring that fitness enthusiasts can perform at their best.
  4. Athletic Fashion Seekers: Adidas understands the growing trend of incorporating athletic-inspired fashion into everyday wardrobes. The brand caters to individuals seeking stylish athletic apparel and accessories that allow them to effortlessly blend fashion and functionality.
  5. Sportswear and Branded Merchandise Consumers: Adidas appeals to consumers with an affinity for sportswear and branded merchandise. The brand’s iconic logo and recognized brand reputation make it a sought-after choice for those seeking quality, authenticity, and the latest trends in sportswear.

By targeting these customer segments, Adidas has established itself as a leading brand in the athletic apparel and footwear industry. The brand’s commitment to quality, innovation, and meeting the diverse needs of its customers solidifies its position as a preferred choice among athletes, sports enthusiasts, and fashion-forward individuals alike.

Adidas targets a diverse group of customers, including athletes, sports enthusiasts, and individuals seeking athletic fashion and lifestyle products.

Distribution Channels of Adidas

Adidas Distribution Channels

Adidas employs a diverse range of distribution channels to make its products widely available to customers around the world. By leveraging these channels, the brand ensures both accessibility and exclusivity, catering to the needs and preferences of its diverse customer base.

Retail Stores

Adidas operates company-owned retail stores globally, creating a direct connection between the brand and its customers. These stores offer a comprehensive range of Adidas products, allowing customers to immerse themselves in the brand’s world and explore the latest collections. With their physical presence, these retail stores provide a personalized shopping experience that enables customers to try on products and receive expert advice from Adidas staff.


Complementing its brick-and-mortar stores, Adidas has a strong digital presence through its e-commerce websites. These online platforms offer convenience and accessibility to customers, allowing them to browse and purchase Adidas products from the comfort of their homes. The brand’s e-commerce websites provide detailed product information, customer reviews, and secure payment options, ensuring a seamless online shopping experience.

Third-Party Retailers

In addition to its direct retail outlets, Adidas partners with third-party retailers to expand its distribution reach. These retailers include department stores, specialty sporting goods stores, and fashion boutiques. By collaborating with established retailers, Adidas can tap into their existing customer base and benefit from their expertise in merchandising and marketing. This multi-channel approach allows Adidas products to be available in various physical locations, making them easily accessible to a wider audience.

Brand Collaborations

Adidas frequently collaborates with other brands and designers to create exclusive collections that combine the strengths and aesthetics of both parties. These collaborations often result in limited edition or highly sought-after products that generate significant consumer interest. By partnering with renowned brands and designers, Adidas expands its distribution channels to include the partner’s network, reaching new audiences and enhancing the brand’s exclusivity.

Retail ChannelsDescription
Company-owned Retail StoresPhysical stores owned and operated by Adidas, offering a wide range of products and a personalized shopping experience.
E-commerce WebsitesOnline platforms that allow customers to browse and purchase Adidas products directly from the brand’s website.
Third-Party RetailersEstablished retailers that stock Adidas products, including department stores, sporting goods stores, and fashion boutiques.
Brand CollaborationsPartnerships with other brands and designers to create exclusive collections, expanding distribution through the partner’s network.

Key Resources of Adidas

Adidas Key Resources

Adidas possesses a range of key resources that contribute to its success as a leading sportswear and footwear brand. These resources include:

1. Product Design and Development Teams

The product design and development teams at Adidas are instrumental in creating innovative and stylish athletic apparel and footwear. They work tirelessly to incorporate the latest technologies, materials, and trends into Adidas products, ensuring they meet the needs and preferences of athletes and consumers alike.

2. Manufacturing Facilities

Adidas has a network of state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities across the globe. These facilities utilize advanced manufacturing processes to produce high-quality products efficiently and at scale. Adidas’ dedication to sustainable manufacturing practices further strengthens its manufacturing capabilities.

3. Supply Chain Management

Efficient supply chain management is critical to meeting customer demand and delivering products on time. Adidas maintains a well-structured and effective supply chain that ensures seamless coordination between suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. This streamlined supply chain allows Adidas to respond quickly to market trends and consumer preferences.

4. Marketing and Branding Efforts

Adidas invests heavily in marketing and branding activities to promote its products and build brand awareness. Strategic advertising campaigns, sponsorships, and endorsements with renowned athletes and sports teams help elevate the Adidas brand and resonate with its target audience.

5. Distribution Network

Adidas has established an extensive distribution network that spans various channels. This network includes company-owned retail stores, third-party retailers, and e-commerce platforms. By leveraging multiple distribution channels, Adidas ensures that its products are readily available to customers worldwide.

6. Retail Stores

Adidas operates a vast number of retail stores globally, providing customers with a physical space to experience the brand and its products firsthand. These retail stores serve as key touchpoints for engaging with customers and showcasing Adidas’ latest collections.

7. Brand Reputation

One of Adidas’ most valuable resources is its long-established brand reputation. With decades of successful operation, Adidas has gained the trust and loyalty of consumers worldwide. The brand’s commitment to quality, style, and performance has solidified its reputation as a reliable and desirable choice in the sportswear market.

Together, these key resources empower Adidas to maintain its competitive position and satisfy the diverse needs of its customers. The combination of innovative product design, reliable manufacturing facilities, efficient supply chain management, strategic marketing efforts, extensive distribution network, distinctive retail stores, and a strong brand reputation positions Adidas as a leader in the sportswear industry.

Cost Structure of Adidas

Adidas incurs various costs related to its operations to maintain its position as a leading sportswear and footwear brand. These costs include:

  1. Product Manufacturing: Adidas invests in high-quality materials and production processes to ensure the durability and performance of its products.
  2. Marketing and Advertising Campaigns: The brand allocates a significant portion of its budget to marketing and advertising to promote its products and maintain brand visibility.
  3. Employee Salaries and Benefits: Adidas values its employees and offers competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain top talent.
  4. Research and Development: Continuous innovation is a key focus for Adidas, and the brand invests in research and development to create technologically advanced products.
  5. Retail Store Maintenance: Adidas operates numerous retail stores globally, and the brand invests in the maintenance and upkeep of these locations to provide a seamless shopping experience.
  6. Administrative Overhead: Various administrative costs, such as office expenses and legal fees, are necessary to support the day-to-day operations of the company.

Manufacturing and marketing expenses are typically significant for Adidas, reflecting the brand’s commitment to quality and the promotion of its products. By investing in these areas, Adidas aims to deliver exceptional value to customers and maintain its strong market position.

Table: Comparative Analysis of Adidas Manufacturing Costs and Marketing Expenses

YearManufacturing Costs (in millions)Marketing Expenses (in millions)

Adidas’s commitment to quality and exceptional performance reflects in its cost structure. The brand spares no effort in the manufacturing process, ensuring the use of high-quality materials and state-of-the-art production techniques. Moreover, its marketing and advertising campaigns are strategically designed to create brand awareness and engage with consumers effectively.

By maintaining a balance between manufacturing costs and marketing expenses, Adidas continues to drive innovation, deliver value to customers, and solidify its position as a global leader in the sportswear industry.

Competitive Advantage of Adidas

Adidas has firmly established itself as a leading brand in the sportswear and footwear industry. Its competitive advantage is driven by several key factors:

  1. Innovative Product Design: Adidas’s commitment to innovation sets it apart from competitors. The brand continuously invests in research and development to create cutting-edge products that deliver exceptional performance and comfort.
  2. Strong Brand Recognition: Thanks to decades of successful marketing and iconic branding, Adidas enjoys widespread brand recognition worldwide. The company’s logo and distinctive 3-stripes design are instantly recognizable and highly associated with quality and prestige.
  3. Global Reach: With a vast distribution network and a presence in numerous countries, Adidas benefits from widespread global reach. This extensive global footprint allows the brand to tap into diverse markets and connect with a broad customer base.

The brand’s competitive advantage is further reinforced by its ability to cater to both sports performance and lifestyle fashion, appealing to a wide audience. Adidas seamlessly blends cutting-edge athletic technology with trendy design, offering products that resonate with athletes, sports enthusiasts, and fashion-conscious consumers alike.

In addition to its focus on product excellence and brand recognition, Adidas leverages collaborations with sports organizations and celebrities to enhance its market presence. By partnering with renowned athletes and teams, the brand reinforces its authenticity and credibility in the sports industry. These collaborations also generate additional exposure and drive consumer engagement.

Adidas’s competitive advantage lies in its ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences and fashion trends. The brand understands the importance of staying relevant and continuously evolves its offerings to meet the demands of today’s consumers.

Adidas’s competitive position in the industry is strengthened by its strong brand reputation, global recognition, and ability to consistently deliver high-quality products that resonate with consumers worldwide.

Competitive AdvantagesKey Points
Innovative Product DesignContinual investment in research and development for cutting-edge products.
Strong Brand RecognitionDecades of successful marketing and iconic branding have built a globally recognized brand.
Global ReachExtensive distribution network and presence in numerous countries.
Sports CollaborationsPartnerships with athletes and teams strengthen brand authenticity and generate additional exposure.
Adaptability to Changing TrendsAbility to stay relevant and meet consumer preferences in the fast-paced sportswear and fashion markets.

Recent Developments and Future Outlook for Adidas

Adidas, the renowned athletic apparel and footwear company, continues to make significant strides in its recent developments and future outlook. By embracing innovation and collaboration, Adidas expands its product offerings and positions itself as a leader in the industry.

One of the key recent developments for Adidas is the introduction of new technologies. The company constantly strives to enhance the performance and comfort of its products, and it has successfully integrated advanced technologies such as Boost cushioning and Primeknit fabrics into its footwear and apparel lines. These technological advancements not only improve the athletic performance of users but also provide them with superior comfort and durability.

“We believe in constant innovation and pushing boundaries. Our recent technological advancements demonstrate our commitment to delivering the best products to our consumers,” says Bjørn Gulden, CEO of Adidas.

In addition, Adidas has fostered collaborations with influential designers, further expanding its product offerings and appeal. By partnering with notable fashion icons and trendsetters, the brand infuses creativity and style into its collections. Collaborations with designers such as Stella McCartney and Yohji Yamamoto have resulted in unique and fashion-forward creations, attracting a broader audience beyond the traditional athletic market.

Looking towards the future, Adidas has a positive outlook, thanks to its strong brand recognition and global presence. The brand’s iconic three-stripe logo and commitment to quality have established Adidas as a trusted and desirable choice for consumers worldwide. The company’s ability to adapt to emerging trends and consumer preferences positions it well to capitalize on the growing demand for sportswear and lifestyle products.

As the sports industry continues to evolve, Adidas is dedicated to staying at the forefront of innovation and meeting the changing needs of its customers. The brand’s focus on sustainability through initiatives like its “End Plastic Waste” campaign also ensures that it remains relevant and socially responsible.


Adidas, a renowned German athletic apparel and footwear corporation, has firmly established itself as a leading brand in the sportswear industry. With a diverse customer base and strong competitive advantage, Adidas continues to thrive. The company’s ownership structure is divided among various shareholders, including Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA, Nassef Sawiris, and Norges Bank Investment Management, ensuring a diverse range of perspectives and expertise.

Adidas’s success is attributed to its innovative product design, strategic brand collaborations, and expansive global reach. The brand constantly pushes boundaries by developing cutting-edge technologies and partnering with influential designers to create unique and coveted products. This commitment to innovation, coupled with its brand recognition, has solidified Adidas’s position as a market leader.

As Adidas looks to the future, it remains dedicated to providing athletes and consumers with exceptional experiences and products. With its unwavering focus on quality, performance, and style, Adidas is well-positioned to capitalize on emerging trends and meet the evolving needs of its customers. Whether on the field, in the gym, or on the street, Adidas continues to inspire and empower individuals to unleash their true potential.


Who owns Adidas Company?

Adidas AG is a publicly traded company with various shareholders. Some of the largest shareholders include Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA, Nassef Sawiris, and Norges Bank Investment Management.

What is the history of Adidas?

Adidas was founded in 1924 by Adolf Dassler. The company gained recognition in the 1936 Olympics and became known for its iconic logo and 3-stripes design. There was a split between Adolf and his brother Rudolf, who went on to establish Puma, leading to a rivalry between the two brands.

How is the ownership structure of Adidas?

Adidas is a public company traded on the FWB stock exchange. The ownership is divided among various shareholders, and the ownership structure can change as shares are bought and sold.

What are the key partnerships of Adidas?

Adidas forms partnerships with sports organizations, teams, and athletes for sponsorships and endorsements. The brand also collaborates with other companies and designers for exclusive product lines. Some notable partnerships include collaborations with Yohji Yamamoto, Stella McCartney, and the Argentinian national football team.

How does Adidas generate revenue?

Adidas generates revenue primarily through the sale of its products, including athletic footwear, apparel, accessories, and sporting equipment. The company sells its products through company-owned stores, third-party retailers, and e-commerce channels. Adidas also earns revenue through brand collaborations and licensing agreements.

Who are the customer segments of Adidas?

Adidas serves a diverse customer base, including athletes, sports enthusiasts, fitness enthusiasts, individuals seeking athletic fashion and lifestyle products, and consumers interested in sportswear and branded merchandise. The brand caters to both professional athletes and everyday consumers.

What are the distribution channels of Adidas?

Adidas distributes its products through company-owned retail stores, third-party retailers, e-commerce websites, and exclusive brand collaborations. The brand’s products are available globally through a network of authorized sellers.

What are the key resources of Adidas?

Adidas’s key resources include product design and development teams, manufacturing facilities, supply chain management, marketing and branding efforts, distribution network, retail stores, and brand reputation.

What is the cost structure of Adidas?

Adidas incurs various costs related to its operations, including expenses for product manufacturing, marketing and advertising campaigns, employee salaries and benefits, research and development, retail store maintenance, and administrative overhead.

What is the competitive advantage of Adidas?

Adidas’s competitive advantage stems from its reputation for innovative product design, brand recognition, and global reach. The brand’s focus on both sports performance and lifestyle fashion appeals to a wide audience. Collaborations with sports organizations and celebrities enhance its market presence.

What are the recent developments and future outlook for Adidas?

Adidas continues to innovate and expand its product offerings, with recent developments including the introduction of new technologies and collaborations with influential designers. The brand’s future outlook remains positive as it capitalizes on its strong brand recognition and global presence.

Is Adidas a leading sportswear and footwear brand?

Yes, Adidas has established itself as a leading sportswear and footwear brand with a rich history, diverse customer base, and a strong competitive advantage. The company’s ownership is divided among various shareholders, including Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA, Nassef Sawiris, and Norges Bank Investment Management.

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