National Geographic POD

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Adidas vs Puma

Adidas which famous with is "the brand with the stripes" motto, and Puma with is tiger symbol are the two brand that highly wanted by teenager or athletic persons. This two brand actually have a very big history, two brothers Adolf and Rudolph, the Dassler Brother.

During the 1980's, the two most popular sports clothing company had been vigorously competing to be number 1 in the urban market scene. The two Giants were Adidas and Puma. But, the rivalry did not begin in the 1980s with the era of Reaganomics. The story goes all the way back to the 1940's in Germany where two brothers had a fallen out and went separate ways to create two of the most influential athletic wear.

Adidas and Puma originated from a quarrel between Dassler Brothers Adolf and Rudolph. This triggered off a beef that would last for over 50 years surpassing any hip-hop beef today. Adolf nicknamed “Adi” and Rudolph nicknamed “Rudi” were born in Herzogenaruch , Germany . Adi, the younger of the two, was part of a new Family business making shoes out of any material he could find, such as tires, old helmets and other garbage (my man was on his GRIND. It wasn't until he innovatively converted bedroom slippers into one-of-a-kind light weight gymnastic shoes that the family business became a formidable shoe manufacture. With demand rising to a 100 pairs a day, Adi's father and brother quit their jobs to work full time at the Dassler Shoe Factory.

The Dassler family company claimed world wide fame when world acclaimed athletes wore their shoes in the Olympics. The Michael Jordan of Track and Field Jesse Owens co-signed the shoes by rocking a pair during the 1936 Olympics. Embarrassed by Hitler's humiliation over African American Jesse Owens win over the Anglo-Saxon Germans in the Olympics, rumors have it that Rudi stated to friends that the shoes were not made for a black man to wear. Soon after, Adi and Rudi joined the “Fashion Fascists” by enrolling in the Nazi Party. Rudi went as far as to serve in the German Army during World War II leaving Adi to tend to family business. While Adi produced military boots for Nazi Soldiers, Rudi was dodging bullets at the frontline. However, the Dassler Family's luck ran out when the Allies seized control of Germany and Rudi was held captive in an American prisoner-of-war camp. American soldiers occupied and moved into the Dassler home. During the occupation, Adi formed a bond with the Americans and rumor has it that this was the pivotal time in life that made him change his ideology about fascism to liberty and freedom. As Adi was making new friends, Rudi's entrapment in a prison war camp was leaving a bitter taste in his mouth.

After the war ended, Rudi returned to Herzogenaruch to help Adi rebuild their shoe empire in war torn Germany . But then Adi and Rudi had an argument which severed their ties forever. The two men kept the reason for their argument all the way to their graves. It is rumored that after Rudi returned from the prison camp, he did not recognize his brother Adi who now was denouncing the doctrines of old Nazi propaganda and embracing American ideologies. Adi even changed his real name from Adolf to Adolph. Rudi felt as if Adi was mocking his military service to their country of birth-right and did nothing to help release him from the prison camp since he had a lot of American connections. Some say their argument was so terrible that neither man ever mentioned the other's name again.

They decided to go separate ways and form their own company. Agreeing that they would not use their old family business name, both men came up with new names for their company. Rudi decided to call his company Puma. Adi decided to use his nickname and the first 3 letters of his last name calling the company Adidas. Thus began Adidas vs. Puma.

The feud was so bad that the town in Germany became entrenched in the squabble. Adidas and Puma recruited citizens of the town for the soccer team which they often played against one another. The people of the town who worked for Adidas and Puma drank different beer from each other. Children, whose parents were employed by Adidas and Puma, attended two different elementary schools. In the 1980's, some conspiracy theorist claims that clothes retail store owners got involved with the feud by increasing store sales through ordering blue Adidas track suits in LA neighborhoods occupied by Crypt gang members and red Puma track suits other neighborhood occupied by the Bloods gang members.

Rudi was a business mastermind who made Puma one of the leaders in athletic footwear. But it was Adi who turned Adidas into The leader of footwear and apparel by consistently reinventing footwear to meet the needs of an ever growing competative sportsman. Today, Adi is held as the pioneer of sporting goods industry, while Rudi stands in the shadow of his legacy. Presently, Puma has generated 2 billion dollars in sale. But Adidas continues to surpass Puma by 6 billion in sales. Although it's apparent which company
dominates the other in the industry, is the beef still alive.


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