Sneaker Siblings: The Enduring Battle of Adidas vs. Puma

The Enduring Battle of Adidas vs. Puma | Mr. Business Magazine

Adidas vs. Puma has a lot more behind it than most people think. Apart from the fact that the two companies are fighting for the same market share, they were both founded by a family of brothers: Rudolf, Adolf, and Klaus Dassler, also known as the “Dassler brothers” or the “Puma” and “Adidas” brothers. The relationship between the brothers has been known to be tense for a long time. Perhaps the biggest sibling rivalry story you will find in today’s business world is the story of the Dasslers.

They covered the way for the entire athletic apparel industry to take off. Adidas and Puma are two of the most well-known and successful brands in the world today, but they are based on a rivalry that dates back to the very beginning. 

In this article we will take a closer look at the history of Adidas vs. Puma, what was the reason for their separation, and how both brands are developing over the years.

An overview of Adidas vs. Puma:


It was established in 1949 by Adolf Dassler in Germany. The brand name “Adidas” refers to the combination of Adi Dassler, the founder’s name. The famous three-stripe logo is easily recognized worldwide. It’s known for focusing on using advanced technology, delivering high performance, and bringing improvement to sportswear. Adidas produces products such as sportswear, sports footwear, and other accessories. It mainly focuses on sports activities such as basketball, golf, jogging, and soccer. Adidas is known for its technological developments, which include Primeknit uppers, and improving cushioning, and also for Working with famous designers, athletes, and celebrities to improve its brand value. Overall it is a multinational brand with a strong retail network and an outstanding presence across multiple markets.      


Founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler, Puma refers to the Latin word for panther. Rudolf planned his products to symbolize the qualities of a Puma cat that is speed, strength, flexibility, and sprightliness, essential to being a successful athlete. Puma produces stylish clothing suitable for both sports and daily life, improving its market presence. The brand offers various products, including accessories, lifestyle clothing, and athletic footwear, with a major presence in motorsports, running, and soccer. Puma has also introduced an innovative technology that is the “Puma Disc fastening system”. The brand collaborates with many fashion designers and celebrities. It is a famous sportswear brand that represents youth, culture, and lifestyle.

Rival Story of Adidas vs. Puma:      

Adi and Rudolf Dassler established Dassler Shoe Company, and had a longstanding feud, leading to their split in 1948 for personal reasons. This not only divided the companies but also broke the Dassler shoe family. The Adidas-Puma rivalry had affected the local community, even influencing the town’s football clubs. Though the rivalry of Adidas vs. Puma keeps going on, both of them are fulfilling their customer requirements with extraordinary manufacturing. Adidas became more famous by sponsoring the West German national teams in the 1954 and 1970 World Cups.      

The Enduring Battle of Adidas vs. Puma | Mr. Business Magazine

Early History of Adidas vs. Puma

Adidas and Puma are famous German brands founded by innovative entrepreneurs to modernize sports footwear and apparel. As time went on, they became famous in the global sportswear business.

Adidas was established in 1949 by Adi Dassler with his brother Rudolf they first worked together in the shoe business. However, their partnership ended after World War II. Adi followed his passion for sports footwear and founded Adidas. The brand became famous for its unique designs and high-quality sportswear.

Puma was established by Rudolf Dassler in 1948. The establishment of two big brands happened just because of a fight between two brothers in the town of Herzogenaurach. Initially, Puma was known as Ruda which is the combination of Rudolf Dassler’s nickname.  It mainly focuses on producing stylish sports footwear also it is well-known for its creative football shoes and has become a major player in the global sportswear industry.      

Adidas vs. Puma has a long rival story that goes beyond business. It is a competition with a deep meaning that is connected to the story of the Dassler brothers. This competition forced both companies to work harder which helped them to get many creative ideas for sports clothing. Over the years, Adidas has worked with many athletes and celebrities and become a highly-rated sportswear and sports footwear brand. Even though Puma faced many difficulties it has successfully created its image as a stylish sportswear brand and now people from both fashion and sports backgrounds love to use it.      

Milestones of Adidas vs. Puma:


  1. Founding (1949):  It was established in 1949 by Adolf Dassler in Herzogenaurach.
  2. Introduction of the Three Stripes Logo (1952): The three-stripe logo was founded in 1949 and became the identity of the brand.
  3. Sponsorship of the 1954 FIFA World Cup Winning Team: Adidas became well-known after it provided footwear for the German national football team which won the 1954 FIFA World Cup. 
  4. Release of the Samba (1950s): Adidas introduced the Samba indoor soccer shoe in the 1950s, which became a popular choice for athletes and casual wear.
  5. Partnership with Run-DMC (1986): Adidas made history by collaborating with a hip-hop group to make “My Adidas” which helped to bridge the gap between hip-hop culture and sportswear. 
  6. Official Ball Supplier for FIFA World Cup (1970): The iconic Telstar ball was introduced for the 1970 World Cup. Adidas became the official ball supplier for the FIFA World Cup in 1970, and the partnership continues to date. 
  7. Launch of the Superstar (1969): The Adidas Superstar that was introduced in 1969, featuring a unique shell toe became one of the most iconic sneakers in history.
  8. Acquisition of Reebok (2006): Adidas overtook Reebok in 2006 by expanding its brand collection and strengthening its presence in the athletic footwear and apparel market.


  1. Founding (1948): It was established in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler in Herzogenaurach.
  2. First Football Boot Innovation (1952): Puma introduced its first football boot, the “ATOM” highlighting screw-in studs.
  3. Astronaut Endorsement (1973): Puma became the first sportswear brand to be used in space when NASA astronaut, avid runner, and Jim Irwin wore Puma sneakers during the Apollo 15 mission.
  4. Rise in Popularity with Athletes (1980s): The brand collaborated with famous athletes and gained popularity in the 1980s in the world of athletics and track and field. 
  5. Collaborations and Partnerships (1990s): Puma has been working with celebrities and athletes like Rihanna, Jay-Z, and others and has increased its brand reputation in the fashion and sportswear industry.
  6. Innovations in Footwear (2000s-present): Puma has introduced technologies such as the Puma Disc System and the Ignite foam cushioning. 
  7. Renewed Focus on Sustainability (2010s-present): Puma has launched the “Puma InCycle” collection introducing recyclable and biodegradable products.
The Enduring Battle of Adidas vs. Puma | Mr. Business Magazine

Market Dynamics of Adidas vs. Puma:

Adidas has a market capital of a total of $33.47 Billion with a total market share of 14.7%. Adidas has experienced fluctuations in sales over the years, so to improve the sales the company has implemented strategies such as collaborations and innovations to drive growth.

On the other hand, Puma has a market capital of a total of $7.64 Billion with 19.7%, 43.5%, and 9.9% in Asia/Pacific, Americas, and EMEA respectively.  Puma has shown resilience and growth in recent years, with a focus on lifestyle and performance products. The brand has benefited from collaborations and marketing initiatives. The war of Adidas vs. Puma has outnumbered their products and customers have benefitted from their business ventures. 

Marketing strategies of Adidas vs. Puma:


  1. Adidas frequently collaborates with high-profile athletes, celebrities, and influencers as brand ambassadors like Leonel Messi, and Kendell Jenner.
  2. Adidas is well-known for sponsoring major sports events, teams, and athletes this includes partnerships with football clubs and basketball teams.
  3. Adidas highlights innovation in product design technology like exchangeable cleats that could adapt to different pitch conditions.
  4. Adidas collaborates with fashion designers, celebrities, and other brands to create a limited-edition collection.
  5. Adidas engages with its customers through various channels, including social media, apps, and loyalty programs like Impossible Is Nothing, She Breaks Barriers, and Take the Deal Dare to Create, etc.
  6. Adidas is known for its marketing campaigns that respond to cultural events, trends, and social issues. This adaptability keeps the brand relevant and connected with its audience.


  1. Puma often collaborates with celebrities, athletes, and influencers like Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, etc.
  2. Puma is known for sponsoring sports teams, leagues, and individual athletes eg. Mercedes AMG Petronas, Scuderia Ferrari, and Alfa Romeo, etc.
  3. Puma focuses on introducing innovative and technologically advanced products like Drive Fusion DISC, etc.
  4. Puma highlights creating a unique and pleasing retail experience. Flagship stores and pop-up shops often feature interactive features, creating a memorable connection between the brand and the customers.
  5. Puma has combined sustainability into its brand image. Marketing efforts often highlight eco-friendly practices, such as the use of recycled materials in products. Puma introduced the “Puma InCycle” collection in 2010 which is recyclable and biodegradable. 
  6. Releasing limited-edition products and exclusive collections.
  7. Engaging with communities through events, workshops, and activations helps Puma connect with its audience on a personal level.
The Enduring Battle of Adidas vs. Puma | Mr. Business Magazine

So who’s the winner of the battle Adidas vs. Puma?

Both Adidas and Puma have a rich history. Adidas is known for advanced technology, high-performance sportswear, and a strong presence in various sports. Whereas, Puma is known for stylish sportswear, advanced products, and focus on lifestyle and performance.

Adidas has a market value of $33.47 billion, highlighting collaborations and innovation. Whereas, Puma has a market value of $7.64 billion, and has shown flexibility and growth by highlighting lifestyle and stylish products, supported by collaborations and marketing campaigns.

Eventually, the rivalry between Adidas vs. Puma has resulted in an excess of products, benefiting consumers with various options. The choice between the two iconic brands depends on personal preferences, whether it’s a preference for advanced sports technology, high-performance sportswear like Adidas, or stylish, innovative lifestyle products like Puma.

Also Read: Ferrari vs. Lamborghini: Battle between a Horse and a Bull

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