The history of Puma starts with a quarrel between brothers that would later turn into multi-million dollar companies. Puma has been worn internationally by athletes, celebrities, and everyday people . It is the third largest maker of sportswear.
Puma was started in 1948 by Rudolf “Rudi” Dassler after he split from his brother Adolf “Adi” Dassler of Adidas fame. The sons of a shoemaker, the brothers started the Dassler Shoes Company in 1924, specializing in athletic shoes. When Jesse Owen wore their shoes in the Summer Olympics of 1936, the brand’s popularity soared. However, this would come to a halt during World War II when the brothers got into a disagreement while hiding in a cellar. Rudi would later accuse Adi of turning him into the Allied Forces. They never made up and split the company.
Rudolf Dassler named his new company Ruda after the first to letters of his name. He later changed the name to Puma. In 1948, the company got another boost to its reputation with the West German team wearing Puma boots at the first soccer game after World War II. This would become a pattern for the Puma Company. In 1960 Summer Olympics, Puma paid Armin Hary to wear its shoes over rival Adidas. Hary took the offer, but would later try to bamboozle both out of money. Nevertheless, this marked the first instance where an athlete was sponsored by a brand.
In 1974, Rudi died and left the company to his sons Armin and Gerd Dassler. The brother sold Puma to Cosa Liebermann in 1989, never revealing the price. Puma would go on to partner with many athletic associations from the NFL to NASCAR. Puma is know as the prevalent clothing and footwear of racers and driving aficionados. It also teamed with high-end fashion designers like the late Alexander McQueen. In 2007, a retailer Pinault-Printemps-Redoute brought a large percentage of the Puma but did not make it part of PPR.