Rohit's nukkad

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Adidas or Puma

With the football World Cup 2006 round the corner. We hear and read a lot of interesting stories of this historical sporting event. Stories about the rivalaries between Germany and Britain or between Brazil and Argentina.
Well relating to soccer World Cup, i cam across an interesting article read in the BBC online edition today. A small town in Germany, Herzogenaurach has been the birth place of two of the world's most popular sport sports shoes, Adidas and Puma.
Two brothers, Adolf and Rudolf Dassler were responsible of starting a sport shoe company by the name of Dassler in the early 1920's. Their shoes "Dassler" became very popular once it was endorsed by Jesse Owens in 1936 Olympics games. However after the second world war there was a fall out among the brothers due to different policial views.
So Adolf started the company "Adidas" (Adi + Das) while Rudolf formed "Puma". Their rivalary literally divided the town into two. People used to look at other person's shoes before starting a conversation. The brothers didn't talk in their lifetime and their respective families carried on the rivalary.
These two company not only made the best sport shoes but revolutionize the sports marketing techniques.
An interesting statistic about each of their current market standing and the number of football teams sponsered by each of them is given at a Soccer blog

Founded: 1949
HQ: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Employees: 17,023 (2004 figure)
Pre-tax profits in 2005: €768m (£531m)
Sales in 2005: €6.9bn (£4.8bn)
2006 World Cup teams sponsored by Adidas: Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina

Founded: 1948
HQ: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Employees: 3,910 (2004)
Pre-tax profits in 2005: €286m (£197m)
Sales in 2005: €2.4bn (£1.7bn)
2006 World Cup teams sponsored by Puma: Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Iran, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Paraguay, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Angola

But recently Adidas aquired Reebok and now in the league to challenge the mightly American giant of NIKE. Well who ever wins it is surely an interesting story to know.
If you are more interested then you can go to the following links to know more about the interesting marketing strategies used by these two rival sports shoe companies.
1. New York Times blog
2. The Observer
3. BBC radio (audio clip)
5. Lastly a book "Drei Streifen gegen Puma" (Three Stripes versus Puma) by Barbara Smit, a Dutch author and journalist forms the backbone of all the above mentioned articles .


  • A very well written passage and soo informative. We all enjoyed it and please do write more like these.

    By Anonymous yashu, at 8:21 AM, June 10, 2006  

  • thats an interesting fact. hard to belive that some of the best things in the world always originate from an unknown place.

    By Blogger Venkat Narayan, at 11:39 AM, June 11, 2006  

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