1924 to 1948: The road that led to the PUMA shoe factory owned by Rudolf Dassler
1924- Brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler found the company “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” [Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory] in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
1936- Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Olympic Games wearing the Dassler shoes. Overall, numerous world class athletes sporting Dassler shoes win seven gold and five bronze medals as well as breaking two world and five Olympic records.
1948- Rudolf Dassler founds PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler [Rudolf Dassler shoe factory]. It is officially registered on October 1, 1948. The same year, PUMA’s first football boot, the “ATOM”, is launched on the market.
The 1950s: Sports Achievements
Shortly after the company is founded, Rudolf Dassler successfully develops a football boot with screw-in studs, in collaboration with experts, such as Sepp Herberger. The launch of the “SUPER ATOM,” the world’s first screw-in boot, which Dassler launches in 1952, marks the beginning of a long-term and highly successful relationship between PUMA and football. In May 1954, the German premier league team Hannover 96 wins the league and are crowned champions in the final game against FC Kaiserslautern. The majority of the players is wearing the enhanced version of the boot, called “BRASIL.” PUMA is also successful in track and field: 1954 - Heinz Fütterer breaks the world record in the 100 meters in Japan, wearing PUMA running shoes. 1958 - PUMA introduces its trademark logo, the unmistakable PUMA form strip. In the same year, at the Football World Cup in Sweden, the PUMA boot is worn by players on both teams and is the only German-made football boot in the final.
The 1960s: Revolutionary Technologies
1960 – PUMA partner Armin Hary continues the company's success story in track and field and wins gold in the 100 meters at the Olympic Games in Rome. 1968 - The “MEXICO 1968” running shoe amazes with its innovative brush soles – 68 small, only 4 mm long bristles in the front area of the foot: Numerous American athletes,who wear the shoe, set new world records just a few weeks prior to the games in Mexico. However, according to the association, the shoe is “too dangerous” and consequently banned. The athletes are deprived of the world records. Nonetheless, PUMA athlete Tommie Smith wins gold in the 200 meters and causes a stir: He and his team colleague John Carlos (bronze) raise their fists in the Black Power salute, protesting against discrimination ofAfrican Americans and other minorities in the USA, Apartheid and racism. In the meantime, PUMA makes more history in football. The world class football players Eusébio and Pélé are equipped with PUMA boots and PUMA develops the legendary “PUMA KING” football boot.
The 1970’s: Passion for sports
During the World Cup in Mexico in 1970, the “Player of the Tournament,” Pélé leads Brazil to win the title wearing “PUMA KING.” Four years later, Johan Cruyff shows his loyalty towards his sponsor by tearing off the third stripe of his shirt, is named the “Player of the Tournament” and “European Player of the Year” for the second time in a row. Even in tennis PUMA has established a reputation: 1977 - The Argentinean Guillermo Vilas wins the French, US and Australian Open.
The 1980’s: Dynamics and Top Performances
The 80’s are dominated by the tennis boom, triggered by Boris Becker and his spectacular victory in Wimbledon in 1985. As the youngest, first unseeded and German player, he wins the tournament, wearing PUMA shoes and sporting a PUMA racket. From 1984 to 1987, PUMA also has Martina Navratilova under contract, one of the most successful players in tennis history. In the world of football, one player was making the headlines: Diego Armando Maradona sports PUMA boots during his first World Cup appearance in 1982 and went down in history with the “Hand of God” goal at the World Cup 1986.
The 1990’s: Pastures New
In 1990, PUMA KING player Lothar Matthäus is crowned World Cup Champion with the German National Team in Italy. The team captain is also named “European Player of the Year,” “World Cup Footballer,” “World Athlete” and “ARD Top Goal Scorer of the Year.” In 1993, top athletes Heike Drechsler, Merlene Ottey, Linford Christie and Colin Jackson win gold medals in track and field at the World Championship in Stuttgart. At the Olympic Games 1996 PUMA causes a stir with a creative contact lens campaign. PUMA is the first sports brand to combine sports with fashion as it enters into a collaborative agreement with fashion designer Jil Sander in 1998.
2000 - 2009: Moving forward with Sportlifestlye
In the 21st century, PUMA has constantly set new trends and expanded its brand in the most spectacular ways: As a professional equipment supplier in motorsports (Ferrari, Renault), through cooperation agreements in design and fashion (e.g. Yasuhiro Mihara), with sensational football shirts for the Cameroon national football team (sleeveless and one piece), as the supplier of the Jamaican track and field team, as the sponsor of the 2006 World Cup Champions (Italy) and as a supplier of golf fashion. In 2008, PUMA sets sails for the first time by entering its own sailing yacht into the Volvo Ocean Race, one of the longest and hardest sailing races in the world and finishes the race in second place. At the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, PUMA again writes sport history: sprint hero Usain Bolt smashes the 100m and 200m world records.
2010: Africa at the Centre of the Football World
The year 2010 is marked by the Football World Cup in Africa, PUMA’s home-away-from-home, and a milestone in motorsport. PUMA successfully kicks off the World Cup year at the Africa Cup in Angola with Egypt’s Pharaohs winning the Cup of Nations for the third successive time. At the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa PUMA sponsors seven football federations, including the African Teams Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Algeria, alongside Italy, Switzerland and Uruguay. In November Sebastian Vettel of PUMA supplied Red Bull Racing becomes the youngest-ever Formula One champion at the age of 23 and is voted “German-” as well as “European Sports Man Of The Year 2010”.