PUMA

(Herzogenaurach, Germany, Founded 1948)

In 1948 Rudolf Dassler left the company he cofounded with his brother to form his own shoe label: PUMA. Rudolf had been in business with his brother Adolf since 1924, when they founded Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) in Herzogenaurach, Germany. (Adolf "Adi" Dassler's company is now known as Adidas, the popular brand of athletic and casual shoes.)

Shortly after its founding, PUMA manufactured its first football (soccer) shoe — the Atom. In 1949 Dassler began developing prototypes for a shoe with removable studs, and one year later several members of the West German national football team wore PUMA boots in their first match after the end of World War II.

For the next two decades (and well beyond Dassler's death in 1978), PUMA expanded its design efforts to include sneakers for track-and-field and tennis athletes. In the late 1990s the company established joint ventures in Italy and Chile to expand sales of its football lines. In 1998 PUMA launched a joint footwear collection with fashion designer Jil Sander.


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