Most people are not aware of the fact that Adidas and Puma were created by two brothers, Rudolf and Adi Dassler. Rudolf left Dassler’s company (of which Adi later changed the name to Adidas) to start his own company Puma in 1948.
Dassler’s line of athletic shoes had already become a favorite of Olympic athletes at the time, with over 50% of the athletes wearing Dassler shoes at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928. Later it would be Jesse Owens, the African-American track star who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin that would garner the Dassler shoes more notoriety. Over the years Puma continued to be a favorite among world-class athletes at world-class sporting events.
Puma, like Adidas, were both German based companies, and both were geared towards athletic shoes and apparel. Puma’s lines of soccer shoes, the King and the Suede (also known as the Clyde) were both worn in the World Cup (Eusebio da Silva Ferreira)and the Olympics (Lee Evans and Thomas Smith).
Rudolf died in 1974, and his son had already been running a subsidiary of the company in Salzburg, Austria so it was only natural that he would take his place. Since then, in 1986, Puma went public and was renamed Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport. In 1991 a Swedish conglomerate became the majority shareholder, and then in 1999 Monarch/Regency became the biggest (single) shareholder.
By 1993 Puma had been operating in the red for almost 10 years. Like the Brooks brand, Puma’s success or failure came to depend on one employee. Like Brooks, who brought in a former Nike employee, Puma brought in 30-year old Jochen Zeitz, as their new vice-president of international marketing and sales.
Puma and Brooks’ comebacks from almost complete financial ruin were almost identical. Brooks’ new president and Puma’s new VP both brought their companies to show a healthy profit by the end of their first year, something neither had been able to do for almost a decade.
Cool Puma Trivia
* They were the first athletic shoe manufacturer to offer Velcro straps (1960)
* In 1962 their shoes were being shipped to almost 100 countries
*They use a new technology, vulcanization, to adhere the soles to the uppers of shoes, a technique that resulted in 80% of all soccer shoes being made this way
* They became one of just four suppliers of the American National Football League in 1999
* By the 1999/2000 NFL season, 13 teams were wearing their brand, as were 9 NBA teams
* When Serena Williams was 16 she signed a 5 year contract.
Where is Puma Headed?
They are best known for their soccer shoes, but their ability to branch out and intensify their marketing efforts worldwide keeps them in the game and they will likely be around for a long time scoring over and over.
It’s no surprise that countless numbers of athletes choose Puma as their sports product supplier of choice, their story is similar to Rocky, just when it looked like Puma was going to lose, they came back better and stronger than ever before.
Want to find another brand? I have seen the Puma running shoes- Take me to the best running shoes page...pretty please!