Herzogenaurach is the hometown of the Dassler Brothers - Rudolph and Adolf - on the banks of the Arach river in the state of Bavaria, Germany. Little did they know that their rivalry would lead to the birth of two of the most iconic global brands in the world: Puma and Adidas. This small town became the battleground for their fierce competition and the foundation of their respective legacies.
In the early days, the Dassler brothers were building a sneaker empire as the Nazis rose to power. Instead of fighting the Third Reich, they focused on providing shoes for the German athletes in the 1936 Olympics, where Jesse Owens famously won four gold medals. The exposure from the Olympics propelled their business forward, and their footwear quickly gained recognition for its quality and innovation.
However, the brothers' differences in vision and personality eventually led to a bitter rivalry. In 1948, the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory split, with Rudolph founding Puma and Adolf starting Adidas. The rivalry between the two brands became legendary, extending beyond business competition to personal animosity and even political affiliations.