Puma was born from the brothers’ rivalry. It was founded by Rudolf Dassler in 1948. Puma SE, branded as Puma, is a German multinational corporation. It manufactures and designs casual and athletic footwear, accessories, and apparel. it is the third-largest sportswear manufacturer in the world. For more than 70 years, Puma has been drawing strength and credibility from the heritage in the sports.
In 1919, a company named Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik meaning Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory was founded by Adolf and Rudolf. They started the factory in their parent’s home and later on moved it to the proper facility in 1924.
History of Puma
Rudolf Dassler joined his father at the shoe factory, after leaving the school. When his father returned from World War I, Rudolf was trained to be a salesman at a porcelain factory. Later on, he was in a leather trading business in Nuremberg. In 1924, Adolf and Rudolf founded a shoe factory. it was the only business that manufactured sports shoes at that time.
At that time, the electricity supplies were not reliable in the town and they had to pedal power from a stationary bicycle to run the machine or equipment for manufacturing a pair of sports shoes. In 1927, they moved into a separate building. Adolf and Rudolf went to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin with a suitcase of spikes. They went there to persuade United States sprinter Jesse Owens to use them. Owens won four medals and business got the boom.
The rivalry begins between brothers when they joined Nazi Party. Rudolf was a bit closer to the party than Adolf. In 1948, the views of running the business between the brothers were going opposite directions. Hence, they split the business in 1948. Rudolf started his company on the other side of Aurach River. Adolf started his company using his nickname Adi and the first three letters of his last name Das. As a result, Adidas was founded by Adolf Dassler.
On other hand, Rudolf created his firm Ruda, from Ru from Rudolf and Da from Dassler. In 1948, it was changed to the name Puma Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler. Both brothers entered into a fierce rivalry. Due to this rivalry, the town of Herzogenaurach was divided and given a nickname of the town of the bent necks.
Screw-in studs, a football boot was developed by Rudolf. He called them Super Atom. It was done with the collaboration of Josef Sepp Herberger, national coach of West Germany. Josy Barthel, a 1500 meters runner from Luxembourg won the Olympic gold in Helsinki, Finland. He was wearing the Puma sports shoes in the 1952 Summer Olympics.
In 1958, Puma launched its trademarks form-strip logo.
Puma, the first sports shoe manufacturer to use vulcanization in 1960. Puma paid Armin Hary in the 1960 Summer Olympics to wear pumas in a 100-meter sprint final. Hary was wearing Adidas already. He asked Adidas for payment but it was rejected by Adolf. The German won the gold in Pumas and wore Adidas for the medal ceremony. Adi got enraged and he banned the Olympic champion from Adidas.
In the 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute, Tommie Smith and John Carlos were sponsored by Puma. In 200-meters, they won gold and bronze medals. They stepped on the podium wearing Puma Suedes. They bowed their heads and raised black-gloved fists. It was a silent protest while the national anthem was being played. This act intended to defend the human rights and black Americans.
In 1973, Puma launched Clyde. It was designed for Walt Clyde Frazier, a basketball player. Later on, this model was popular among Puma customers and fans. Rudolf Dassler dies on 27 October 1974 and his sons inherited the company. Here, Armin and Gerd were also having a dispute like Adolf and Rudolf. After a legal dispute, Armin Dassler was able to take over Puma.
In 1986, Puma was a public company. It was listed on Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Borse München. Puma introduced the RS-Computer shoe. RS stands for running system and it can measure the runner’s pace, speed and calories burned. It was not accepted by people and had a poor sale.
In May 1989, Armin and Gerd Dassler, sons of Rudolf agreed to sell the 72 percent of stake in Puma to a Swiss Business named Cosa Liebermann SA. In 1990, the introduction of inspector was introduced for the growth control system of children. Disc System was launched in sport’s shoes in 1991. Puma offered the first profit in 1994 since it was registered for initial public offering and it was registered in 1986.
Puma introduced Cell Technology that was the first foam-free midsole in 1996. In the same year, the company was listed in the German M-DAX index. In 1997, Puma launched Cellerator. A year later, Puma signed Serena Williams in 1998.
The company became the official on-field suppled of NFL. Puma was the official uniform manufacturer of Super Bowl too in 1999.
Puma partnered with Sparco and Porsche for the production of fire-proof footwear in 2000. Puma introduced Puma Speedcat after acquiring the Scandinavian Tretorn Group in 2001.
In 2002, Reebok was announced as an official and sole uniform and apparel sponsor of the NFL for the next 10 years. Puma’s tenure as an on-field supplier was over.
In 2003, Puma was having revenue of € 1.274 billion. In 2002, Puma was the commercial sponsor of the anime series Hungry Heart: Wild Striker. Puma was sponsoring the jerseys and clothing sporting. After Nike and Adidas, Puma is ranked as one of the top sports shoes brands.
In 2004, Puma had a collaborative partnership with Philippe Starck, the designer. Later on, Puma was listed in Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2006, a specific tool, S.A.F.E was developed to improve the environmental and social standards, especially in the shoe industry.
It was reported by Puma in February 2007 that their profits were fallen by 26%. The profits dropped to € 32.8 million. The expansion was costing Puma much which resulted in the decline in profits. In April 2007, the shares rose € 29.25 per share and were at € 315.24 per share.
On 10 April 2007, Gucci and Pinault-Printemps-Redoute bought 27% stakes in Puma. At that time, the worth of Puma was € 5.3 billion and PPR launched a friendly takeover for Puma. By July 2007, PPR was owning over 60% of Puma’s stocks.
In 2008, Puma acquired majority stakes in Chalayan’s business. In 2010, Puma became a carbon-neutral company by acquiring Cobra Golf. The name was later changed to Cobra Puma Golf.
Puma was only a German Public Limited Company. In July 2011, it was converted to Societas Europaea. Now it was a European Union-wide Equivalent company. The name Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport was changed to Puma SE.
In 2012, an eight-year deal was signed by Puma to provide kits for Borussia Dortmund. In 2014, a long-term deal was announced among Puma and Club de Fútbol Monterrey, also known as Monterrey. Also, Puma signed a long-term merchandising partnership with Arsenal Football Club.
In 2015, Rihanna became the global ambassador for women’s training. She was also appointed as creative director for Puma Women. The Weekend was made the global brand ambassador of puma and also a creative collaborator.
In 2017, Puma launched Money in the Bank sneakers. Puma was the official supplier with a long-term partnership of Manchester City F.C., Girona F.C., Melbourne City F.C., Club Athletico Torque, Sichuan Jiuniu F.C., and Mumbai City F.C. By 2020, Puma and Neymar, a Brazilian footballer signed a long-term deal.
Puma – A Sports Shoe Brand’s History
Puma was formed due to the rivalry between the two brothers after World War I. Puma and Adidas were the bitter and fierce competitors in the town. Puma is considered one of the best sport shoe manufacturers after Nike and Adidas. It works on the values for excellent athletes in the world by providing them footwear, apparel, and accessories.