The fascinating story of the enemy brothers behind Adidas and Puma, whose rivalry shaped the modern sports business
Adidas and Puma are two of the biggest global brands in sports, paying stars, clubs, and competitions to show off their labels in stadiums and across magazine pages.
In Sneaker Wars, journalist Barbara Smit reveals the dramatic, character-driven story of these two power-houses. Started in their mother's laundry room in Germany, Adi and Rudi Dassler's shoe business was an instant success, their spikes worn by Jesse Owens in the Berlin Olympics. But a vicious feud soon pulled them apart: by the end of World War II, the brothers split the company, dividing their family and hometown.
Adidas and Puma revolutionized the world of sport, their rivalry introducing behind-the-scenes deals and multimillion-dollar contracts. From Pelé to Joe Namath, Walt Frazier to Boris Becker, Muhammad Ali to David Beckham, they all contribute to the roller-coaster rise, near collapse, and revival of the two brands. A page-turning narrative, Sneaker Wars is a riveting blend of family drama, business, sports, and history.
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Barbara Smit has written for The Financial Times (London), The International Herald Tribune, The Economist, and Time, among other publications. She lives in France.
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