Posted on April 23 2014
The Story behind the creation of Adidas & Puma is an interesting one and we thought we'd share it with you
Adidas & Puma were started by two brothers Adolf "Adi" Dassler and Rudolf "Rudi" Dassler from a bavarian town in Germany called Herzogenaurach.
Adolf "Adi" Dassler started to produce footwear from his mothers washroom in July 1924 after his return from World War 1, later Rudolf would join Adolf and create the company "Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory".
In 1936 Adolf would drive to the Olympic Village with a suitcase full of spikes and convinced legendary sprinter Jessie Owens to use them (The First African American Sponsor). After Owens success in the games wining four gold medals, the pairs reputation had been cemented with the worlds most famous athletes. Letters would arrive from all around the globe from other teams after the brothers famous shoes, its safe to say buisness was booming selling 200,000 pairs each year before world War 2.
During the war, a growing rift between the pair reached a breaking point after an Allied bomb attack in 1943, when Adi and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf and his family were already in: "The dirty bastards are back again", Adi said, referring to the Allied war planes, but Rudolf was convinced his brother meant him and his family,After Rudolf was later picked up by American soldiers and accused of being a member of the Waffen SS, he was convinced that his brother had turned him in.
The Dassler Factory was being used for production of anti-tank weapons during the war, was nearly destroyed by US forces in April 1945, but was spared when Adi Dassler's wife, Käthe, convinced the GIs that the company and its employees were only interested in manufacturing sports shoes. American occupying forces subsequently became major buyers of the Dassler brothers' shoes.
In 1947 the brothers split forming new companies of their own Rudolf started the company "Ruda" (Rudolf "Rudi" Dassler) which would later become Puma, and Adolf went on to form Adidas AG (Adolf "Adi" Dassler).
Adidas and Puma entered into a fierce and bitter rivalry, the town of Herzogenaurach had also been divided and given the name of "town of bent necks" as people would constantly be looking to see what shoes others were wearing.
When handymen were called to Rudolf's home, they would deliberately wear Adidas shoes. Rudolf would tell them to go to the basement and pick out a pair of free Pumas. The two brothers never reconciled, and although both are buried in the same cemetery, they are spaced apart as far as possible.
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