Tag Archives: adolf dassler

A tale of two brothers

Adolf and Rudolf Dassler inherited shoe-making from their dad, but they didn’t inherit love for each other. Adolf broke off their partnership and founded Addidas, while Rudolf founded Puma — both in the same German town of Herzogenaurach.

A rare photo where both brothers, left and middle, appear together

Their intense sibling rivalry led to unprecedented shoe wars waged through stepped-up bidding battles for the hottest athletes. In an attempt to stave off the spiraling sponsorship costs, both made a pact to not pursue Brazilian soccer genius Pele.

Pele led the Brazilians to World Cup glory in 1970

But Rudolf betrayed it. He paid $120,000 for Pele in the 1970 World Cup to ask the ref to not whistle the beginning so that he could tie his shoes. As worldwide television looked on at the cause of the delay, Puma won a publicity coup without parallel.

His brother never forgave him. The two are even buried in the farthest opposing extremities of the town cemetery.

Can’t we get along??? Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven — Matt. 18:19 NIV. We ought to get along at least enough to pray together.

The Dassler brothers only tamed their family war with the appearance of Nike, which blindsided them and stole huge shares of the athletics market. Only when the devil shows up, will we get along?

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