We’re taking a trip over to Herzogenaurach, Germany. I have no idea how to pronounce that, but I do know that it is the shoe capital of the world. It’s the birthplace of not just PUMA, but also Adidas. Both stories are wild, but today, let’s talk PUMA...
The year is 1919. Right as WW1 ends, brothers Adolf Dassler and Rudolf Dassler decide to open their own small shoe factory. They operate their family business for the next 30 years until Adolf and Rudolf have a little disagreement.
The disagreement turns into a familial war (it involves the courts, their wives, and possibly the Nazi party). Long story short, they cut ties, go their separate ways, and never speak to each other again. Frustrated, Rudolf moves across the river into east Germany and starts his own shoe company from scratch. He already knows the ropes and gives it his best shot. Rudolf names it PUMA because athletes wearing the brand’s shoes have the abilities and instincts of a predator.
Next thing you know, PUMA takes hold of the game of football (soccer for all you non-footy players). Rudolf starts whipping out the sexiest looking leather cleats anyone has ever seen and footballers around the world start banging in goals left and right. After the legendary football god, Pelé, won the 1962 and 1970 world cups rocking leather PUMAs, the rest was easy money.
After Pelé came Maradona. After Maradona came Usain Bolt. Today, PUMA works with the likes of Neymar, Ricky Fowler, Lewis Hamilton, Demarcus Cousins, and (um?) Selena Gomez. Now that’s what I call an impact.
But wait. Remember how I never mentioned what happened to the other brother, Adolf, after their fight? He kept working in that initial family shoe store, which eventually became known as Adidas.
**Read more using the sources: this Wikipedia page
**Read more FS Stories here.
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