Sunday, 27 November 2011

Flaming Brothers

“We must love one another, yes, yes, that's all true enough, but nothing says we have to like each other. It may be the very recognition of all men as our brothers that accounts for the sibling rivalry, and even enmity, we have toward so many of them.”- Peter De Vries . 

The story of Cain and Abel tells of one brother's jealousy after God appeared to favour his sibling, and the jealousy ultimately leads to murder.

Though they are unlikely to enjoy the comparison with Adam and Eve's offspring, they can take comfort from being by no means the first, and certainly not the last.
In 1952, there is small Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, the town also being nickname as "the town of bent necks", because townsfolk would not strike a conversation with a stranger until they had first looked down at the shoes that person was wearing.
Here only the bravest dared to wear their Puma shoes and cross the river to the adidas side of town. It was a town split into footwear factions. Townsfolk were marked as adidas or Puma people.

The town was really split in two like a sort of mini-Berlin with this little river as a partition in the middle.

The enmity can be traced to a spat in the 1940s between two local shoemakers - Brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler - who fell out and set up rival companies, adidas and Puma, on either side of the town's river.

Initially the brothers had worked well together, despite their differences.

The pair had made shoes together in the 1920s in their mother's kitchen, trading as Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. They complemented each other very well to begin with. Adi Dassler was always more thoughtful, a craftsman who enjoyed nothing more than fiddling with his shoes. Whereas Rudolf Dassler was a more abrasive, loudmouthed salesman.

But as their business took off, the two brothers grew increasingly frustrated with each other. They disagreed on everything from politics, the future of the company and one another's choice in wives.

It didn't come to blows between brothers Adi and Rudolf Dassler who in happier days spent their summer holidays patching shoes. A beautiful brotherly business partnership might have blossomed until they found they couldn't reconcile political differences stemming from the Second World War.

At the beginning of the war Rudolf and Adolf Dassler had such an argument that they never spoke to each other again. 

Rudolf left to set up Puma, and Adolf renamed the company adidas. They disbanded their 25-year-old company which had made shoes for legendary athlete, and formed rival manufacturers on opposite sides of the river Aurach, which runs through the centre of Herzogenaurach. And here the headquarters of these two giants remain today, barely a couple of miles apart.

The brothers never reconciled, or even spoke to each other again. As for Herzogenaurach--it split down the middle. Adidas and Puma were the biggest employers around and everyone was loyal to one brother or the other. It was so bad that it even split the town apart. People were loyal either to Rudolf or to Adolf.

The split spawned decades of fierce business rivalry, split a town in two, and led to the establishment of two of the best-recognised sporting brands in the world

Rudi succumbed to lung cancer in 1974, leaving Puma to his son. The family sold the company in 1989. Adi died in 1978, and his son took over Adidas till his death in 1987. Even now in the cemetery, one lies one side and the other right the opposite side.
But now, after more than 60 years of enmity, Puma and adidas have chosen to call a truce.

Tensions between the two firms appeared to have eased in recent years, with neither company in the hands of the founding families any longer.

Adidas and Puma may be among the most recognized brands in the world, but neither might exist if not for a bitter rivalry between two brothers from a little-known village in Germany. It is an interesting lesson is that you need great enemies. I don't think either company would be where it is today if it hadn't been stimulated by the rivalry with the other.

Note:- I was only figthing with my sibling to conquer the TV it was a great war

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