Which brand is better, Adidas or Pumas? Adolf and Rudolf Dassler co-owned Dassler Brothers, an athletic shoe enterprise in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The brothers realized that if they really wanted to make some money there was no better advertisement platform then the Olympics. At the 1928 Olympics, Dassler equipped many athletes with their shoes and laid the foundation for the international expansion of the company. During the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Adolph equipped athlete Jesse Owens with a pair of shoes that he loved so much that he wanted no wear nothing else and went on to win four gold medals. Unfortunately, years later the brothers would have a falling out and a spark a sibling rivalry so intense that it even split their hometown apart.
Rudolf left the company to found Puma on the other side of town across the Aurach River, and Adolf renamed the company Adidas after his own nickname. For decades, everyone’s shoes became a sort of flag. People wore Adidas on the southern bank of the Aurach river that divides the town, and Puma on the north. Herzogenaurach was nicknamed "the town of bent necks” because it quickly became a norm in the town for people to always look down to see which brand of footwear that you were wearing before deciding whether they would speak to you or not. Even the town's two football clubs were divided by this rivalry because the ASV Herzogenaurach club was supported by Adidas while the 1 FC Herzogenaurach endorsed Rudolf's footwear.
The hate the brothers had for each other even infected their wives and they too began to dislike each other. After an Allied bomb attack in 1943, Adi and his wife ran into a bomb shelter only to find Rudolf and his family were already in there and the arguments followed. Rudolf must have been a prideful man because even the townspeople could manipulate him easily. For example, when handymen were called to Rudolf's home, they would intentionally wear Adidas shoes because Rudolf would then send them to the basement to pick out a pair of free Pumas.
The contempt that these brothers had for each other almost led to both of them getting hustled at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Puma had paid German sprinter Armin Hary to wear Pumas in the 100-meter sprint final but Hary had previously worn Adidas before and asked Adolf to pay him. Adidas rejected this request and Hary would go on to win the gold medal in Pumas, but then laced up a pair of Adidas for the medals ceremony. Could you imagine the looks on the two Dassler brothers faces after witnessing this? Hary had hoped to cash in from both of them and almost succeeded. Although the two brothers never reconciled their differences they are now buried in the same cemetery and are spaced as far apart as possible. You can find Rudolf immediately as you walk in however to find Adi, you have to trek all the way to the farthest corner of the cemetery, on the opposite side.
Post by Arvin Ramdas