Puma SE or the world known Puma is one of the leading athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories manufacturing company. It began in late 1924 with Rudolf Dassler and currently holding 3rd position in sportswear manufacturing industries of the world. Today Puma is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany.
In 1948 Rudolf originally registered the name of the company as Ruda (following Rudolf Dassler), but later the name had changed to Puma.
It all started when Christoph Von Wilhelm Dassler and his wife Pauline gave birth of two beautiful sons named Rudolf Dassler and Adolf Dassler. Rudolf was born in 26th March 1898 and his younger brother Adolf in 3rd November 1900.
Christoph Von Wilhelm Dassler was a worker in a shoe factory and his wife Pauline ran a small laundry in the Franconian town of Herzogenaurach. Rudolf Dassler, joined his father at the shoe factory when he returned from fighting in World War I.
In 1924, Rudolf and his younger brother, Adolf founded a shoe factory. They named the new business “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). The brothers started the company in their mother’s small laundry and it was the only business at the time that manufactured sports shoes. At the time, electricity supply in the town was very poor, and the brothers sometimes had to use pedal power from a bicycle to run their machines. In 1927, they moved into a new building.
The Fight between two brothers
The relationship between the Dassler brothers had slowly been worsening throughout the years. Angered with one another actions and the constant struggle to gain power divided the brothers and their company in 1948.
Another fact was, between the two Dassler brothers, Adolf was the designer of shoes and Rudolf was the salesman. Even their point of view were different about how to ran the business led them to split the company.
One of another interesting rumors about the Dassler brothers’ split was their wives thoughts, who wanted to take the control and profit of their husbands’ shoe company. To avoid further disagreement, the brothers decided to split the company. There are lots of rumors about dassler family and why the brothers stayed separated for over half a century.
According to the residents of Herzogenaurach, one of the brothers slept with the wife of the other. After get caught the brothers separated forever, split their business and never spoke to each other again.
1948: The beginning of PUMA
In 1948 after separating from each other, the two of them decided to run their own company.
Adolf retained the Dassler shoe factory, whereas Rudolf and his followers moved to south of the Aurach river and started their own shoe factory. Both of the brothers wanted to rename their companies and differentiate themselves in the market. Adolf named his company combined his first name “Adi” and his last name “Dassler” to form “Adidas”. Rudolf also did the same as “Ruda” (Rudolf Dassler), but after few months he changed the name to “Puma” which sounds more athletic. That’s how rivalry of Adidas and Puma was started.
Herzogenaurach became popularly known as “the town of bent necks” because at first everyone checked to see which shoes you were wearing. Because of the rivalry, the economy and culture of the town was terribly affected. Almost everyone who lived in the town either worked for Adidas or Puma, even dating or marrying across company lines was banned for employees.
First off all, both the Brands do not need any introduction when we talk about sport accessories. Many athletics won gold medals with puma accessories. But you have to know how it was started and why the “cat” symbol over there in their logo.
Its all started when the Dassler brothers started their own company called Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. They started selling their sample shoes to the athletes. The company became well known in 1936 Olympic because lots of athletes won gold who wore shoes by the company.
- After the brothers split, Rudolf founded The company PUMA in 1948. In the same year they launched their first football boot called “ATOM”.
- In 1952 Rudolf developed the “Super Atom”, the first football boot screw studs. After that they upgraded a new version called “Brasil“. It became successful when the Brazilian team won the 1958 world cup wearing it.
- In 1960s the brand decided to move forward. They signed an agreement with Pele and Eusebio, who wore the brand and kept winning events.
- In 1967 the jumping cat logo was introduced. In between 1968s Olympic they sponsored athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos who also won events with wearing it.
- They launched “The Clyde” for basketball players in 1973.
- In 1979, the jumping cat logo was added to the corner of the word PUMA.
- They launched the “Trinomic Sport Shoe” in 1989.
- In 1999, they launched the “Inspector” a growth control shoe for children.
- They launched Disk system sport shoes in 1991.
- In 1996 they introduced the “Cell Technology“, the first foam free mid-sole.
- they launched the “Cellerator” in 1997.
Not only football, basketball or athletics, today Puma covers both female and male sports market segments and also stared making Formula One clothing. Moreover 14,000 employees works everyday near around 700+ stores. Various famous names like Rhianna, Jay Z and Selena Gomez have been associated with this brand signing huge merchandise partnership in sport industry.