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Puma History

(10-03-04 12:28)

Puma, also known as Puma Aktiengesellscaft Rudolf Dassler Sport, is a German footwear, apparel, and accessories manufacturer. Puma has retailers, department stores, and boutiques in over 80 countries and has opened several Concept stores in metropolitan cities. The roots of Puma brand stretch back to the mid 1920's when Adi and Rudolph registered their family shoe enterprise in Herzogenaurach, Germany, but after World War II, during which Rudi Dassler had spent time in a POW camp, the Dassler brothers began a legendary feud, causing Rudolph to leave the company and found a rival company across town. Rudi Dassler named his company Puma Aktiengesellscaft Rudolf Sport (Puma) while brother Adi incorporated as Adidas.

In 1948, Puma released their first shoe, the PUMA Atom to the market and to the West German football team. By 1950 Puma had established export ties to the United States, and in 1958 PUMA's signature formstripe was introduced. This would begin the intense battle between Puma and Adidas to get their shoes onto the feet of world-class athletes that would span the next several decades. This intense race to market new technologies spawned copyright and infringement lawsuits until 1960 when Puma, behind in sales by a nine to one ratio, paid West German track star Armin Hary to defect from Adidas and wear Puma shoes. In 1962 Pele becomes the World Cup champion for a second time while wearing Puma shoes. Six years later, the Puma leaping cat logo as we know it today was launched. The same year Puma had a number of successful models, including the "King" soccer shoe worn by Eusebio at the 1968 World Cup and the "Suede" (later called the Clyde) worn by the Black Power runners Thomas Smith and Lee Evans at the Mexico City Olympics. In total, four athletes bring home gold medals while wearing Puma; Tommie Smith in the 200m, Lee Evans in the 400m, Willie Davenport in 110m high hurdles, and Bob Seagren in pole vaulting.

In 1993 Jochen Zeitz was appointed as CEO & Chairman of the Boardnike air force  and the German factories were closed. Over the next few years, Zeitz redefined Puma's focus on regaining control of various markets. A high-power management team was recruited and a three year business plan was introduced. In Phase I and II, a solid financial foundation was established. After Phase I and II were completed, Puma had 1 billion Euros in sales and moved into Phase III ahead of schedule. Phase III's goal was to explore the potential of Puma brand and generate profitable growth of the company. Puma strongly believes that financial success is contingent upon the ability to contribute positively to the environment in which the company operates. Substantial amounts of their profits is invested in relationships and surroundings. Puma's major technological innovation came in 1996 in the formed of Puma Cell, a structural arrangement of hexagonal cells like a wholesale cheap Nike shoeshoneycomb in a beehive. Track champion Lynford Christie (Britain) was the first sponsored athlete to put the Puma Cell to the test during training.

Other famous figures to wear Puma include soccer legend Pele at the 1970 World Cup (wearing the best selling Puma King) and current stars, Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink and Robert Pires have been seen to wear Puma on the field. Tennis champion, Serena Williams unveiled her line of signature tennis clothing in 2002. Puma products have been placed in several Hollywood movies, including City of Angels and have been endorsed by the band KORN.

With the popularization of urban styles, Puma shoes are in high demand. One of the most popular styles of Puma to cheap puma shoesdate is the Roma, launched in 1970 in celebration of the Rome Olympics. The reissued versions remain highly in demand as do many reissued versions such as the Puma Suede, Puma Basket, and Puma Clyde originally launched in the 1980's. While Puma sales only account for a small portion of the overall athletic shoe and apparel market, the company has been successful in expanding into niche markets like yoga and motor sports shoes, apparel and accessories and the brand continues to dominate on the world soccer stage because of its stylish cutting edge designs and dedication to change and innovation

 

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