How two brothers created the biggest shoe brands in the world

The two famous brothers named Adolf and Rudolf Dassler created two popular shoe brands named Adidas and Puma respectively, which became the most demanded shoe brands in the world. 

However, their rivalry has still been reflected in many sports like cricket, basketball and football clubs, and a culture of animosity between Puma and Adidas employees. 

 The two brothers are still known for creating the highest-quality shoe brands, which have now become competitors in various fields, such as sports, advertisements, or clothing. But we don't know the history behind the two brother's separation and then leading to the invention of these two popular shoe brands. 

However, the rivalry started with the conflict between two brothers, which led to a separation of each other. They started their own brand, which is a highly sought brand in the world right now. 

The origins story of the Dassler brothers   

Rudolf, the elder brother, was born in 1898 in Herzogenaurach, part of the German Empire, while younger brother Adolf was born in 1900.

Their shoe journey embarked from their mother's scullery or laundry room in Herzogenaurach. By 1919, they founded the shoe manufacturing company Sportfabrik Gebrüder Dassler or Geda shoe. Their manufacturing of shoes became a success, despite the political climate in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. 

During the 1936 Olympics, both the brothers designed a spiked shoe for African-American runner Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. 

This led to a massive hit for their shoe company, and from there, their brand was recognised by many people and sportsmen. As a result, their shoe sale sky-rocketed, and they sold 200,000 pairs of shoes every year before World War II.

Their fame made them members of the National Socialist Motor Corps; not only they made varieties of shoes, but they also manufactured anti-tank weapons. 

From 1942 to 1945. However, their company were destroyed by the USA in 1945. They were told to shut down the company, but Adolf Dassler's wife convinced GIs that they were only interested in making shoes and were forced to make weapons. 

This led to American occupying forces subsequently and became most sought buyers of the Dassler brothers' shoes. 

The split and beginning of the rivalry  

After 30 years of being together, Adolf and Rudolf abruptly shut down Geda and  left.. Both the brothers parted ways and started their own shoe brand. 

Adolf continued with an old shoe brand named Adidas, while Rudolf came up with a new brand named Puma, which was earlier called Ruda (short for Rudolf Dassler). 

However, both the brothers' separated because of their wives, who did not get along, and Rudolf was suspicious of Adolf being enrolled in the army and was later imprisoned by the Allies. But both the brother and their family stayed under one roof.  

Hence, the rivalry commenced; the brothers named their respective brands after their name. the split saw Geda workforce resources were shared. 

Adidas approach was Adolf's emphasis on product development, while Rudolf preferred Rudolf's sales-oriented approach for Puma. Their three-decade rivalry saw both Adidas and Puma dominating the market, and many athletes were using their shoes, clothes and whatnot. Many superstars named Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier promoted each of them. 

Germany's biggest rivalry in football presented their brands, FC Herzogenaurach and ASV Herzogenaurach were sponsored by Puma and Adidas respectively. As a result, intense rivalry and sporting of personal rivalry formed between.  

By 1974 and 1978, both the brothers died, and both were buried at opposite ends of Herzogenaurach's cemetery. 

The Aftermath of Adolf and Rudolf's demise 

After their death, the rivalry lost its essence, and Adidas became the second-largest brand in the world after Nike. 

Due to its fame, it became a holding company for the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, 8.33% of the German football club Bayern München and an Australian fitness technology company Runtastic. In 2018 Adidas's revenue was listed at €21.915 billion. 

Puma is the third-largest sportswear manufacturer in the world after Adidas and Nike. Since 2013 the company is now owned by former professional footballer Bjørn Gulden. It has expanded its business in 120 countries with employs more than 13,000 people worldwide. 

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