Adidas v Puma - Sibling Rivalry

Adidas at footasylum
Adidas at footasylum
Adidas may be one of the world’s biggest sports manufacturers today but that doesn’t mean it’s above a little sibling rivalry.

Adidas may be a global giant but it’s doesn’t mean the company is immune from the squabbles of sibling rivalry. The world-wide sporting giant may have conquered the global sport markets but it hasn’t overcome a small battle that has lasted for decades. Adidas v Puma is a bitter rivalry that has split a German town for 60 years. Brothers Rudi and Ali Dassler ended up becoming heads of two of the world’s biggest sporting brands – Adidas and Puma – and the two men went head to head.

Brotherly Love: Adidas v Puma

Recently, in the German town of Herzogenaurach where the HQ of Adidas and Puma are still based, employees of the two sporting rivals met on a football pitch for a friendly game. The match was an attempt to heal the bitter family rift that had split the two brothers and the town for decades. Adidas and Puma were the result of the split between the Dassler brothers after the two fell out bitterly. The shoemaker brothers ended their family company, the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik, which had made its mark after making shoes for sports legend Jesse Owens. The brothers formed rival sports manufacturing brands on opposite sides of the town’s river: Adidas and Puma.

A Sporting Attitude

Adidas and Puma are still in the small village and the acrimony between the two has been compared to the Berlin Wall, bitterly dividing the town. It’s thought the split between the brothers was because Rudi may have had an affair with Adi’s wife. But there are a number of accusations that keep Adidas and Puma at loggerheads, including who was the most fervent Nazi and which brother invented the screw-in soccer boot studs.

Adidas on Top

The division between Adidas and Puma was such that depending on which sporting giant you worked for determined on which pub you drank in. An Adidas employee marrying a Puma employee at one time caused deep divisions. Out of the brothers, it’s Adi who was the ultimate victor, with Adidas becoming a much bigger global giant than its rival Puma. Although the row between the brothers is a sad story (they didn’t speak even when Rudi was on his deathbed), there’s no doubt the brother’s rivalry has propelled Adidas and Puma into becoming the global sporting giants they both are today.

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