Adidas vs. Puma – A Sibling Rivalry

July 15, 2012 in Daily Bulletin, Signature

Back in 2006 Ruth Elkins reported on a sibling rivalry that…got a little out of hand:

  • In the 1940s, in the German town of Herzogenaurach, two brothers worked as cobblers and produced shoes.
  • However they had a falling out. Accounts on exactly what caused their rivalry differ, but some of the possible explanations include:
    • One brother slept with the wife of the other.
    • The wives of the two brothers hated each other.
    • One was more successful than the other.
    • During an air raid in WW2 one brother exclaimed “those pig dogs again!” and the other brother thought that the first brother was referring to him.
  • Whatever the reason, the brothers split and set up their own sports shoe companies. One started Adidas, and the other created Puma.
  • Some of the absurd things seen in the town during the height of the rivalry include:
    • Puma and Adidas employees would not marry one another.
    • There were Adidas and Puma gangs in the schools.
    • Pubs allied to one company would refuse to serve employees of the other.
  • Even in death the two brothers are buried at opposite ends of the cemetery.

To read more including a wider history of the companies, the role that an American prisoner of war camp played, how the companies both take credit for the 1954 soccer world cup win, how a fishmonger became a chess piece, why the brothers were like George Bush and Saddam Hussein, which company does better, why there will probably never be a joint shoe history museum, how workers have taken advantage of the rivalry and how the younger generation feels about the family, click here.

Source: The Independent

Via: Cracked