Two of the world’s best-known sports brands have waged a sixty-year rivalry that split a family apart. Rudolf Dassler and Adolf Dassler launched the mother of all family feuds when Rudolf started Puma (1948) and Adolf started Adidas (1949). Even more bizarrely, the brothers decided to compete in their small German hometown of Herzogenaurach, which today remains the headquarters of both companies.
But this week, that all came to a symbolic end in honor of the UN’s International Day of Peace. That’s when employees of Puma and Adidas played a football (soccer) game in Herzogenaurach. Instead of pitting one company-sponsored team against another, however, employees of both companies intermingled on the teams and let bygones by bygones. Two board chairmen, one from each company, played on the teams.[more]
According to Deutsche Welle, “Monday’s football match was the first conciliatory gesture between the two companies, even though neither has belonged to the Dassler family for years.” That’s right, the feud actually outlived the family’s ownership of Puma and Adidas.
So for one day at least, Adidas and Puma made nice to each other. Now, it’s back to a hotly contested marketplace—Adidas is the world’s second largest maker of sportswear, behind Nike. Puma is number three.