The German mega sportswear companies Adidas and Puma have putted end of the long and insane tradition of rivalry and hate between these companies and people who are working in Adidas and Puma in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach where both companies are based.
There is an interesting story how Adidas and Puma were born and in the same time how was born their rivalry. The story goes back in 1920s, when the younger of the brothers Dassler, Adolf Dassler, supported by his father Christoph (who was working in shoe factory) and the brothers Zehlein (they were making handmade spikes for track shoes) started to produce his own sports shoes in the laundry of his mother. In 1924 his older brother Rudolf joined the business and “Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory” was born.
The both Dassler brothers joined the Nazi Party after the rise of Hitler but they were having some political differences which culminated after the World War II. Rudolf who was captured by American troops after someone gave them information that he is member of SS (paramilitary unit that was responsible for of the worst crimes during the World War II). This information allegedly was supplied by his brother Adolf “Adi” Dassler.
During an Allied bomb attack on Herzogenaurach, Adi and his family were going into a bomb shelter where Rudolf and his family were already in. Adolf Dassler supposedly made comment about the Allied warplanes: “The dirty bastards are back again.” But his brother Rudolf was convinced that this comment was about him and his family. The damage was made and was never repaired!
According some sources that was the reason for dividing the brothers. Also there were some differences between their wives witch probably was the real reason for splitting the brothers. Rudolf Dassler left the company to found new company “Ruda” but soon after that he changed to its present name of PUMA. And his brother Adolf Dassler renamed the company “Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory” to Adidas after his own nickname.
Soon the rivalry began, but no just between two brothers but also between all citizens in Herzogenaurach they split themselves between those who are loyal to Puma and other who are loyal to Adidas. Rudolf’s grandson Frank Dassler has astonished everybody in Herzogenaurach working for Puma and Adidas. He is the only person who has worked for the both companies.
Neither company is now in ownership by the descendants of its founding Dassler families. Today, Puma is part of the PPR, the French luxury group (the same company that owns Gucci and other luxury brands) and Adidas is more widely owned by shareholders, and no one owns more that 5%.
The employees of the both companies for the first time in their history was shaking their hands and were playing football but as they said in their common statement not against each other but with each other! The motive for this join activity which is the first of this kind after the brothers have split in 1948 was the desire of Puma and Adidas to help the Peace One Day organization. The both sides were wearing mixed stuff from the both companies and if we tell you that in the same team were playing the boss of Puma Jochen Zeitz and the Adidas boss Herbert Hainer it not hard to guess which team won 7:5!