The Founders Of PUMA And Adidas Were Brothers Before Becoming Enemies

6Early start

Adolf Dassler was the first to start making sports shoes after he returned from World War I inside his mother’s kitchen. With the help of his father who worked in a shoe factory and the Zehlein brothers who were producing handmade spikes that were used for track shoes in their blacksmith’s shop helped Adolf start his own business in 1924.

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7Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory

Rudolf joined Adolf’s business and thus began the story of Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik which in English meant Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. Around 1925 the company was making leather Fußballschuhe that had nailed studs and also track shoes that had hand-forged spikes. It wasn’t long before the future of this tiny company was about to change.

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8The first huge change

The very first factor that helped transform this tiny regional factory into the international shoe distributor it is, was Josef Waitzer. Josef was a former Olympian and at the time the coach of the German Olympic track-and-field team. When Josef heard about Adolf and his innovative designs he traveled all the way from Munich to Herzogerauchnach to see it for himself.

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9The start of a friendship

When Josef met Adolf and the two began discussing how the shoes could improve or affect the performance of the athletes, a friendship began. This friendship was going to be a very long and extremely valuable for the two. Josef was a consultant to the company and through him, Adolf’s shoes were given to the athletes who were both German as well as foreign.

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10International competitions

The earliest use of the Dassler’s footwear was seen at the 1928 Amsterdam games. Lina Radke who was the German middle-distance runner and won gold in 1928 was wearing Dassler track shoes.  Another example was at the 1932 Los Angeles games where another German gold medal runner was wearing Dassler shoes.

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