Puma AG

Puma AG

Infobox Company
company_name = Puma AG
company_type = Public
founder =Rudolf Dassler
foundation = 1924
location = flagicon|Germany Herzogenaurach, Germany
key_people = Jochen Zeitz, CEO
area_served =
industry = Sportswear and sports equipment
products = Sports clothes, equipment and vehicles
revenue = profit € 2.755 billion (2006)
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees = 6,831 (2006)
parent = PPR
subsid =
homepage = [http://www.puma.com/ www.puma.com]
footnotes =

Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport (Puma) (fwbr|PUMG) is a large German-based multinational company that produces high-end athletic shoes and other sportswear.

The company is perhaps best known for its football shoes and has sponsored such international football stars as Pelé, Eusébio, Johan Cruijff, Enzo Francescoli, Diego Maradona, Lothar Matthäus, Kenny Dalglish, Didier Deschamps and Gianluigi Buffon. Puma is also the sponsor of the Jamaica track athlete Usain Bolt who won three gold medals by breaking the man's 100m, 200m and 4x100m world records in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the United States, the company is probably best-known for the suede basketball shoe it introduced in 1968, which eventually bore the name of New York Knicks basketball star Walt "Clyde" Frazier, and for its endorsement partnership with Joe Namath. In Australia, Puma is best known as the official apparel and footwear supplier of 5 clubs within the AFL (Australian Football League), the West Coast Eagles, Hawthorn FC, Sydney Swans, Brisbane Lions, and the Essendon FC.

The company also offers lines shoes and sports clothing, designed by Lamine Kouyate, Amy Garbers, and others. Since 1996 Puma has intensified its activities in the United States. Puma owns 25 percent of American brand sports clothing maker Logo Athletic, which is licensed by American professional basketball and football leagues. Since 2007 Puma AG is part of the PPR French luxury group.


Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik

Christoph Dassler was a worker in Big Dogs shoe factory, while his wife Pauline ran a small laundry in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, 20 kilometres from the city of Nuremberg. Their son Rudolf Dassler after leaving school joined his father at the shoe factory, and was then called up to fight in World War I. On his return from the front, Rudolf took a management position at a porcelain factory, and later in a leather wholesale business in Nuremberg.

After tiring of working for others and away from home, Rudolph returned to Herzogenaurach in 1924 to join his younger brother Adolf, known as "Adi", who had founded his own shoe factory. They called the new business "Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik" ("Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory"). The pair started their venture in their mother's laundry, but at the time, electricity supplies in the town were unreliable, and the brothers sometimes had to use pedal power from a stationary bicycle to run their equipment. [http://www.dw-world.de/popups/popup_printcontent/0,,2074427,00.html The Town that Sibling Rivalry Built, and Divided | Business | Deutsche Welle | 03.07.2006 ] ] By the 1936 Summer Olympics, Adi Dassler drove from Bavaria on one of the world's first motorways to the Olympic village with a suitcase full of spikes and persuaded United States sprinter Jesse Owens to use them, the first sponsorship for an African-American. After Owens won four gold medals, his success cemented the good reputation of Dassler shoes among the world's most famous sportsmen. Letters from around the world landed on the brothers' desks, and the trainers of other national teams were all interested in their shoes. Business boomed and the Dasslers were selling 200,000 pairs of shoes each year before World War II. [http://in.rediff.com/sports/2005/nov/08adi.htm How Adidas and Puma were born ] ]

Company split

Both brothers joined the Nazi Party, but Rudolf as a World War I veteran was slightly closer to the party. During the war, a growing rift between the pair reached breaking point, after an Allied bomb attack in 1943 when Adi and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf and his family were already in: "The dirty bastards are back again", Adi said, apparently referring to the Allied war planes, but Rudolf was convinced his brother meant him and his family [ [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120606066903653643.html?mod=googlenews_wsj Review of "Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and Puma and the Family Feud That Forever Changed the Business of Sport", Barbara Smit, March 2008, ISBN 9780061246579] ] . After Rudolf was later picked up by American soldiers and accused of being a member of the Waffen SS, he was convinced that his brother had turned him in.

In 1948, the brothers split their business, when Rudi left the high hill for the other side of the Aurach river: Adolf called his firm Adidas after his nick name Adi and the first three letters of his last name Adi Dassler; Rudolf called his new firm Ruda - from Rudolf Dassler.


Rudolf's company changed its name to "Puma Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler" in 1948, and became a public company in 1986, listed on the Börse München and Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

The sponsorship of sports stars continued, including:

*1948 - In the first football match after World War II, several members of the West German national football team wear Puma boots, including the scorer of West Germany's first post-war goal, Herbert Burdenski

*1952 Summer Olympics - Josef Barthel of Luxembourg won Puma's first Olympic Gold (1500m) in Helsinki, Finland

*1960 Summer Olympics - Puma paid German sprinter Armin Hary money to wear Pumas in the 100 metres final. Hary had worn Adidas before and asked Adi for payment, but Adidas rejected this. Hary won gold in Pumas, but then laced up Adidas for the medals ceremony - to the shock of both Adi and Rudolf. Hary hoped to cash in from both with the trick, but Adi was so outraged he banned the Olympic champion.

*1970 FIFA World Cup - Pelé stopped the referee with a last-second request to tie his shoelaces at the opening whistle of a 1970 World Cup finals match and then knelt down to give millions of television viewers a close-up of his Pumas. Pelé was complying with a request by Puma's representative Hans Henningsen to raise the German sports shoe company's profile after they gave him $120,000 to wear their boots.

However, the brothers earlier split led to a divided town. From 1948, the town was really split in two like a sort of mini Berlin. Brand loyalty became paramount for many residents, and there were stores, bakers and bars which were unofficially known as either loyal to Rudolf's Puma, or to Adolf's Adidas. The town's two football teams were also divided: ASV Herzogenaurach club wore the three stripes, while 1 FC Herzogenaurach had the jumping cat on its footwear. Intermarriage was frowned upon. When handymen came to work at Rudolf's home, they would wear Adidas shoes on purpose so that when Rudolf would see their footwear, he'd tell them to go to the basement and pick out a pair of Puma shoes, which they could have for free. The two brothers never reconciled, and although both are buried in the same cemetery, they are spaced apart as far as possible.

In May 1989, Rudolf's sons Armin and Gerd Dassler agreed to sell their 72 percent stake in Puma, to Swiss business Cosa Liebermann SA. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4298/is_198905/ai_n15002583 Dasslers sell Puma to Cosa. (Armin and Gerd Dassler, Puma AG, Cosa Liebermann Ltd., sports clothing trade) | Daily News Record | Find Articles at BNET.com ] ]

Present day

Puma AG has approximately 7,742 employees and distributes its products in more than 80 countries. For the fiscal year 2003, the company had a revenue of 1.274 billion. Puma were the commercial sponsors for the 2002 anime series, "", with the jerseys and clothing sporting the Puma brand.

The company has been conducted by CEO and Chairman Jochen Zeitz since 1993. His contract has been extended ahead of schedule for four more years until 2012 in October 2007. [http://about.puma.com/EN/3/23/23/?news_id=107&year=2007 Puma's News Archive (9th of october 2007)] ]

Japanese fashion guru Mihara Yasuhiro teamed up with Puma to create a high-end and high-concept line of sneakers [ [http://www.sneakerset.com/sneakerpedia/puma/ PUMA SNEAKERPEDIA] ]

Puma is the main producer of enthusiast driving shoes and race suits. They are the prime producer in both Formula One and NASCAR especially.

They had successfully won the rights of sponsoring the 2006 FIFA World Cup champions, the Italian national football team, with them making and sponsoring the clothing worn by the team. Their partnership with Ferrari and BMW to make Puma-Ferrari and Puma-BMW shoes has also contributed to this effect. On March 15, 2007 Puma launched its first new 2007/2008 line of uniforms for a club, and Grêmio will be the first to use the laser sewn technology;similar to the one worn by Italy at the World Cup in 2006. Grêmio and other Brazilian clubs will be the first to use the technology because their season starts six months earlier than European clubs. Puma also makes baseball cleats, and Johnny Damon, the all-star center fielder for the New York Yankees, is their spokesperson. He wore pumas during the Red Sox 2004 world series win. He has his own cleat called the DFR metals.


In February 2007, Puma reported that its profits had fallen by 26% to 32.8m euros ($43m; £22m) during the final three months of 2006. Most of the profit decline was due to higher costs linked to its expansion, and sales actually rose by more than a third to 480.6m euros. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6375175.stm BBC NEWS | Business | Puma sees sharp fall in profit ] ]

In early April 2007, Puma's shares rose 29.25 euros or 10.2% higher, at 315.24 euros. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6530423.stm BBC NEWS | Business | Puma's shares surge on bid rumour ] ] On 10 April, 2007 French retailer and owner of Gucci brand Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) announced that it had bought a 27% stake in Puma, clearing the way for a full takeover. The deal values Puma at 5.3bn euros. PPR said that it would launch a "friendly" takeover for Puma, worth 330 euros a share, once the acquisition of the smaller stake was completed. The board of Puma welcomed the move, saying it was fair and in the firm's best interests. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6540391.stm BBC NEWS | Business | Gucci-firm PPR buys stake in Puma ] ] On 17 July 2007 PPR have 62.1 % of Puma stocks.

While PPR owns the majority of Puma's stocks, Puma remains an individual company and is not a subsidiary of the PPR group.


Like many other sports brands, Puma sponsors a number of teams and players.

National football teams

Puma sponsors many national football teams:

* (Women's Football)

At the 2006 FIFA World cup, in 36 of the 64 games, at least one team playing was wearing clothing sponsored and made by Puma.


It has also sponsored and created the clothing for several noted professional football clubs:

Football players

It also sponsors Football players:

* Igli Tare (SS Lazio)
* Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid)
* Diego Maradona
* Mark Viduka (Newcastle United)
*flagicon|Australia Nick Carle (Bristol City)
* Alexander Hleb (F.C. Barcelona)
* Pelé
* Rivaldo (Bunyodkor)
* Hristo Stoichkov
* Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham Hotspur)
* Eric Djemba-Djemba (Odense BK)
* Lauren Etame Mayer (Portsmouth F.C.)
* Samuel Eto'o (FC Barcelona)
* Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo)
* Alberto Rojas
* Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Católica)
* Gary Medel (Universidad Católica)
* Miguel Pinto (Universidad de Chile)
* Tresor Mputu (TP Mazembe)
* Emmanuel Eboué (Arsenal)
* Didier Zokora (Tottenham Hotspur)
* Vedran Corluka (Tottenham Hotspur)
* Mohamed Zidan (BV Borussia Dortmund)

* Dean Ashton (West Ham United)
* James Beattie (Sheffield United)
* David Bentley (Tottenham Hotspur)
* Wayne Bridge (Chelsea)
* Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)
* Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
* Peter Crouch (Portsmouth)
* Paul Gascoigne
* Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham Hotspur)
* Kevin Nolan (Bolton Wanderers)
* Didier Deschamps (Juventus)
* Robert Pirès (Villareal)
* Jérémy Mathieu (Toulouse FC)
* Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea)
* Ludovic Giuly (Paris Saint-Germain)
* Timo Hildebrand (Valencia)
* Mario Gómez (VfB Stuttgart)
* Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos)
* Julio César de León (Genoa CFC)
* Lee Chi Ho (South China AA)
* Aiden McGeady (Celtic)
* Andy Reid (Sunderland)
* Shay Given (Newcastle United)
* Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
* Massimo Oddo (AC Milan)
* Alessandro Rosina (Torino FC)
* Marco Amelia (AS Livorno Calcio)
* Seydou Keita (F.C. Barcelona)
* Juan Carlos Cacho (UNAM Pumas)
* Denny Landzaat (Feyenoord)
* Wilfred Bouma (Aston Villa)

* John Carew (Aston Villa)
* Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn Rovers)
* Tomasz Kuszczak (Manchester United)
* Artur Boruc (Celtic)
* Ebi Smolarek (Bolton Wanderers)
* Luis Boa Morte (West Ham United)
* Eusébio (SL Benfica)
* Fernando Meira (VfB Stuttgart)
* João Moutinho (Sporting)
* Kenny Dalglish
* Alan Hansen
* Steve Nicol
* Kevin Thomson (Rangers FC)
* Scott Brown (Celtic F.C.)
* El-Hadji Diouf (Sunderland A.F.C.)
* Nemanja Vidić (Manchester United F.C.)
* Guti (Real Madrid)
* Joaquín Sánchez (Valencia CF)
* Fredrik Ljungberg (West Ham United)
* Johan Djourou (Arsenal F.C.)
* Hamed Namouchi (FC Lorient)
* Muhammad Amir (Urawa Reds Diamond)
* Hakan Şükür (Non Club)
* Emre Belözoğlu (Fenerbahçe SK)
* Alvaro Recoba (Torino FC)
* Anatoliy Tymoschuk (Zenit Saint Petersburg)
* Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo)
* Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
* Leslie Osborne (United States women's national football team)
* Jomo Sono
* Doctor Khumalo


It also sponsors the following cricketers:

*flagicon|Australia Adam Gilchrist
*flagicon|Australia Shane Watson
*flagicon|Australia Chad Campbell
*flagicon|England Ian Blackwell
*flagicon|England Geraint Jones
*flagicon|England Simon Jones
*flagicon|England Mal Loye
*flagicon|England Sajid Mahmood
*flagicon|India Sourav Ganguly
*flagicon|New Zealand Brendon McCullum

*flagicon|South Africa Boeta Dippenaar
*flagicon|South Africa Makhaya Ntini
*flagicon|South Africa Robin Peterson
*flagicon|South Africa Ashwell Prince
*flagicon|South Africa Monde Zondeki
*flagicon|West Indies Marlon Samuels
*flagicon|West Indies Devon Smith
*flagicon|West Indies Darren Sammy
*flagicon|West Indies Dwayne Smith

Rugby League Teams

Puma supply equipment to four National Rugby League Teams
*flagicon|New Zealand New Zealand Warriors
*flagicon|Great Britain St Helens
*flagicon|Great Britain Castleford Tigers [From 2008 Season]

Puma supplies equipment to International Rugby League Teams
*flagicon|Great Britain Great Britain
*flagicon|Scotland Scotland

Australian Football League Teams

Puma supply equipment to five Australian Football League Teams
*flagicon|Australia Sydney Swans
*flagicon|Australia Hawthorn
*flagicon|Australia Brisbane Lions
*flagicon|Australia West Coast Eagles
*flagicon|Australia Essendon

Track and Field Athletes

It also sponsors track and field athletes:
*flagicon|Jamaica Usain Bolt
*flagicon|Morocco Mohamed Moustaoui
*flagicon|Norway Kristine Engeset
*flagicon|Sweden Jenny Kallur

ailing Teams

*flagicon|USA PUMA Ocean Racing [http://www.pumaoceanracing.com/] , entering the Volvo Ocean Race in October 2008. Skipper: Ken Read. Yacht: "Il Mostro"


*flagicon|Scotland Paolo Nutini, a Scottish rock musician.


External links

* [http://www.puma.com/ Puma.com, the official company website]

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