If it wasn’t because of a rivalry between two brothers, neither Puma nor Adidas might exist today. Adidas and Puma are among the most recognized brands in the world thanks to a bitter rivalry between two brothers from a village in Germany.
In the 1920s, Adolf Dassler, a soft-spoken sports fanatic who spent hours working on shoe designs in his workshop, and Rudolf Dassler, a great salesman, started a small shoemaking business in Herzogenaurach. They were focusing on hand-sewn athletic footwear. But as their business took off, the two brothers grew increasingly frustrated with each other. They disagreed on everything from politics, the future of the company and one another’s choice in wives.
After fighting and disagreeing for about 20 years, Rudolf left the company and set up a rival shop across the river named Puma in 1948. Adolf remained in the initial plant and renamed the company Adidas.
In addition, the two brothers had links with the Nazi Party. Back then, it was very difficult for any German company during those times to continue to operate without having some kind of links with the Nazi Party, especially if it involved sports, which was very much at the heart of the Nazi propaganda machine. The Dasslers had ties with the sports hierarchy. It certainly helped in gaining access to the Olympic grounds in 1936 when they had this superb linkup with Jesse Owens, an American track and field athlete.