Germany's Biggest Business family quarrel: Adidas Vs Puma
Adidas and Puma may be among the most recognized brands in the world, but neither might exist if not for a bitter rivalry between two brothers from a little-known village in Germany. The success story of the two major sports company adidas and Puma began a very long time ago. In the 1920s, Adolf (Adi) Dassler, a soft-spoken sports fanatic who spent hours working on shoe designs in his workshop, and Rudolf Dassler, a gregarious salesman, started a small shoemaking business in the Bavarian enclave of Herzogenaurach, and their father was also a shoemaker.The two brothers Adi and Rudolf Dassler founded 1924 "Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik" and focused on sport shoes at that time.
Puma founder Rudolf Dassler as a recreational boxer in year 1929
The origins of the split between Rudolf and Adolf are hard to pinpoint, but an Allied bomb attack on Herzogenaurach in 1943 illustrated the growing tension. Adi and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf and his family were already in.
"The dirty bastards are back again," Adolf said, apparently referring to the Allied warplanes. Rudolf was convinced that his brother meant him and his family. The damage was never repaired.
However this is not the only version of their reasons for the separation. Some say that with the end of the war, the brother Adi had delivered to the Allies.
Adidas has its headquarters on the Herzo Base, a new town of Herzogenaurach, while Puma’s is at the northern ring road of Herzogenaurach.
Rudolf died in 1974 and Adolf in 1978. The two are buried in the cemetery of Herzogenaurach, though(of course) on opposite sides of the land.
Adidas quickly became a much larger company than its rival. Where did Puma go wrong?
One of the critical failures for Puma was that Rudolf had an argument with the coach of the German soccer team, and that allowed Adidas an opening before the 1954 World Cup, where, completely against all odds, West Germany won against Hungary … Adi Dassler was in all the [newspaper] pictures; he was everywhere. And the Adidas black boots with the stripes were on all the players. From that moment on they received letters from around the world from people wanting to sell Adidas in other countries.