Most people recognise Adidas and Puma as two of the leading sports footwear companies in the world. But not many are aware that these two iconic businesses started in the same small German town, within the same house, by two brothers from the same family, nearly 100 years ago. The story of how the brothers fell out and the conflict which divided a town for almost a century is quite amazing.
The conflict escalated as the brothers split the company in two in 1948, dividing the assets and the employees between themselves. Adi named his company “Adidas,” a combination of his first and last names. Rudi attempted the same by first naming his company “Ruda” but eventually changed it to the more athletic sounding “Puma.” The two built competing factories on opposite sides of the river Aurach and quickly became responsible for much of Herzogenaurach’s economy, with nearly everyone working for one company or the other.