From the roots of a sibling rivalry PUMA was born. Founded in 1948, the world’s third largest sportswear brand was founded by Rudolf Dassler. Dassler first found notoriety in the sportswear world when he and his brother Adolf Dassler jointly formed the company Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). The 1928 Amsterdam Olympics saw most German athletes sporting Dassler spikes and American athlete Jesse Owens winning four gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1936 Berlin, all while sporting Dassler spikes. But the already fraught relationship between the two brothers deteriorated despite their success and the two agreed to split in 1948. They formed two separate entities, Adolf with adidas and Rudolf with PUMA. Thanks to the help of a revolutionary football boot, a world cup marketing stunt featuring Pele and a close relationship with sports and athletes, the brand has become one of the biggest in sneaker culture.
Brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler start making sports shoes.
Both Dassler brothers join the Nazi Party and produce boots for the Wehrmacht.
The brothers split and form Ruda and adidas. Ruda later became known as PUMA. This same year, PUMA’s first football boot, the Atom is launched.
Dassler develops the Super Atom football boot with screw-in studs.
The iconic PUMA formstrip logo is launched.
PUMA becomes the first sports shoe manufacturer to make use of vulcanization.
The Pele Pact is made. Armin Dassler, son of Rudolf and his cousin Horst Dassler, Adolf’s son, agree that during the 1970 FIFA World Cup, the world-class Pele would be out of bounds for both adidas and PUMA. Pele however received $120,000 to wear the Formstrips. The opening whistle saw Pele stop the referee to tie his shoelaces – giving millions of viewers a close up of his PUMA sneakers.
The Clyde style is launched. Designed for basketball player Walt “Clyde” Frazier it gains popularity.
Rudolf Dassler dies and sons Armin and Gerd inherit the company. A lengthy legal dispute leads Armin to take over the company.
Champion tennis player Boris Becker helps develop the sneaker that bears his name.
PUMA signs women’s tennis champion Serena Williams.
A truce is called between both companies as the result of a friendly soccer game.
PUMA signs an eight-year deal to make kits for Borussia Dortmund.
The biggest deal in PUMA’s history comes with Arsenal Football Club.
Rihanna becomes PUMA’s global ambassador for Women’s Training and joins as Women’s Creative Director, influencing and creating product collections and designs.
PUMA collaborates with Hello Kitty for a unique collection.
PUMA signs Korean pop group BTS as global ambassadors.
The brand re-enters into the basketball sneaker market for the first time in 20 years. Jay Z is announced as creative director for PUMA Basketball.
$4.64 billion (2018)