Tuesday, September 27, 2022

KOKO Knows: Adidas And Puma Were Founded By Rivalling Brothers

The rivalry between two of the world’s most recognizable brands went far beyond mere corporate competition. It was a vicious family feud that not only pitted two brothers against one another.In the 1920s, the brothers were partners in the Dassler Brothers Sports Shoe Company, operating out of their mother’s laundry room in the small German town of Herzogenaurach. Adolf (“Adi”) Dassler was the quiet, thoughtful craftsman who designed and made the shoes, complemented by the older Rudolph (“Rudi”) who was the extroverted salesman.Although the brothers joined the Nazi party when Hitler seized power in 1933, it didn’t stop them getting legendary African-American track star Jesse Owens to wear their shoes as he competed and won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics. Owens’ victory gave the shoes international exposure, and sales of the Dasslers’ product exploded.But the success created new tensions in the brothers’ relationship. The brothers split the company in two in 1948, dividing the assets and the employees between themselves. Adi named his company “Adidas,” a combination of his first and last names. Rudi attempted the same by first naming his company “Ruda” but eventually changed it to the more athletic sounding “Puma.”The two brothers are both dead now but even in death, the animosity continued as the brothers were buried at opposite ends of the same cemetery, as far away from each other as possible.Photo Credit: Getty

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