“Berlin 1936: By the early 20th century, Olympic sprinters were putting careful thought into what they put on their feet. The cleats worn by the gold-medal-winning Jesse Owens were made by a German company known as the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory.
Owens’ four gold medals in Berlin made his shoes the envy of runners across the world, helping the brothers to launch two new shoe companies after they parted ways: Adidas and Puma.”
“In 1948, the brothers split their business. Adolf called his company Adidas; Rudolf called his Ruda before changing to Puma.” NYT
The Adidas logo first appeared in 1949, after Rudolf left the company. The branding of sports shoes was born, a competition between two brothers to have the biggest champions don their shoes at critical media moments. Both would be crushed by Nike, the families lost control of their companies, which have since regained market share under new management.
The agony of defeat … and the thrill of victory. The human (and marketing) drama of athletic competition!