Thursday, July 06, 2006

The battle of the jerseys at World Cup Final 2006


Adidas versus Puma: Origins of a rivalry between brothers

BERLIN At the opening whistle of a 1970 World Cup finals match, Pelé stopped the referee with a last-second request to tie his shoelaces and then knelt down to give millions of television viewers a close-up of his Pumas.

Pelé was complying with a request by Puma's representative, Hans Henningsen, to raise the company's profile after receiving $120,000 to wear the shoes.

This clandestine advertising was a huge triumph for Puma over Adidas in the early days of the battle for market supremacy in sports merchandise.

Will an Italian or a Frenchman do it again in BERLIN !!!

Who knew that less than 20 miles outside of Nuremberg, in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach (pop. 23,200), lies the center of world sneaker domination?

Okay, maybe not sneaker domination, but the headquarters of both Adidas & Puma.

In the 1920s, brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler began crafting sports kicks in their mother's laundry room, and turned their venture into a massively successful business - courtesy of good timing and what Yahoo India refers to as "Germany's sport-obsessed 1920s." Following an irreconcilable split of mysterious origins during World War II, the brothers also split their business. Adolf called his half "Adidas", while Rudolf dubbed his "Ruda" and then eventually "Puma".

A Dutch author spent five years combing the achives of both companies & recently penned Drei Streifen Gegen Puma (Three Sripes versus Puma). "Barbara Smit probes the history and rivalry between Adidas and Puma, two corporations with global operations. Since both companies were established in a small town by two brothers who had fallen out, the result is simultaneously an exciting family chronicle which begins against the backdrop of the Second World War and allows every important sports event to the present day to pass in review."

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