Sibling rivalry is often the stuff of legend. Just think of the murderous tale of Cain and Abel from the Bible. Then there’s the fraught relationship of Romulus and Remus in Roman mythology. But while these stories are well known, some people may be unaware that sportswear history has its very own bickering brothers in the form of Rudolf and Adolf Dassler.
The Dassler brothers began life in the German town of Herzogenaurach. And it’s here that they worked at their mother’s laundry before following their father’s footsteps into the footwear trade. With Adolf’s ingenuity and Rudolf’s business acumen, the pair were an unstoppable force. But their union was not to last.
And so, following World War II, the Dassler brothers went their separate ways, both in business and in life. Their rift not only ripped apart a family, but also a town, whose residents became split according to their allegiance to either Rudolf or Adolf’s company. But despite their troubled beginnings, both companies became worldwide successes in the form of sportswear brands Adidas and Puma.