Brothers at War: The Family Behind Adidas and Puma
Adidas and Puma – two of the most recognized brands in athletic footwear. But few know the dramatic family story behind the famous logos.
Let’s uncover the tale of two German shoemaker brothers whose bitter feud birthed an endless battle for sneaker supremacy. This is no ordinary sibling rivalry.
Chapter 1: Brothers in Business
In the 1920s, the Dassler brothers, Adolf (“Adi”) and Rudolf, launched a modest shoe company together in their small German hometown.
The brothers were an unlikely pairing. Adi was the shoemaker, Rudolf the salesman. Adi was introverted, Rudolf outgoing. But their shared passion for innovation drove early success.
That changed when their shoes caught the world’s eye by helping Jesse Owens win 4 Olympic golds in 1936. Jealousy and resentment grew between the ambitious brothers.
By the late 1940s, constant infighting made a split inevitable. After a vicious argument, Rudolf left to start his own company, Puma, across town. Adi rebranded their original brand as Adidas.
Chapter 2: Cutthroat Competition
Betrayal ignited an obsessive hatred between the estranged brothers.
Adi and Rudolf tried every dirty trick imaginable to sabotage and destroy each other’s companies. They slashed prices, smeared reputations, and even contacted the American Army to get shoes requisitioned from the other’s factories.
Employees and town residents had to pick sides. Intermarrying between Adidas and Puma staff became taboo. The Dassler breakup divided a town and family.
But it also birthed a supercharged rivalry that drove both brands toward innovation and unprecedented success. Ironically, trying to ruin each other made both companies stronger.
Chapter 3: No Resolution in Sight
The brothers refused to reconcile until death, consumed by grudges and bitterness. Neither would attend the other’s funeral upon passing.
Remarkably, the family feud continued across younger generations now helming the rival brands. Marriages between Adidas and Puma clan members remain forbidden to this day.
The enduring sneaker war stands as an extreme example of ambition and ego tearing a family apart. But the Dassler brothers still achieved a legacy greater than either could alone.
Almost a century later, their feud lives on through two global giants constantly trying to outmaneuver each other. Some wounds never heal.
Shop the Brothers’ Feud Yourself
Want to rep Adidas or Puma’s legacy born from family drama yourself? Shop online to explore the latest shoes and apparel from both brands.
Adidas offers classic models like Superstars and Stan Smiths along with performance shoes like UltraBoost designed for domination.
Find Puma’s iconic Suedes remixed stylishly along with new tech-loaded running and training sneakers inspired by competition.
Wearing these icons keeps an epic feud alive. Let your sneakers pick a side nearly 100 years in the making!