Construction Projects

Building a Rivalry

Where would you want to work? The Adidas HQ, left, and its Puma equivalent.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Adidas and Puma share the same hometown, and their intense rivalry is laid bare by their race to provide bigger and better facilities in it.

  • Facts


    • Adolf and Rudolf Dassler started making sports shoes at their family home in 1923 but fell out. Adolf later founded Adidas, and Rudolf Puma.
    • The story of Adidas and Puma ranks among Germany’s biggest family business dramas.
    • Today, Adidas dwarfs its cross-town rival in terms of sales and profits.
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Often the shirts, shorts and shoes made by German sporting goods companies Adidas and Puma are stacked up not far from each other on store shelves. The two firms, both located in the small town of Herzogenaurach in Bavaria, might not be closely allied, but soon their headquarters won’t be more than a couple of hundred yards apart.

The rival firms, set up by two brothers who fell out in the 1940s, are currently separated by a four-lane highway and a large, expansive field. But that will soon be a thing of the past. In the spring, Puma will begin building a new administrative wing on the other side of the road. A so-called Puma bridge is planned to connect the existing building with the new building.

For Adidas employees, this means they will have to pass under their competitor’s bridge – a structure 80 meters (262.5 feet) long – if they want to get to their company’s headquarters.

But Adidas isn’t standing by doing nothing in the battle of the earthmovers. The brand with the three stripes is also planning a new building, but not along the same lines as Puma.

The employees of Adidas and Puma have always been able to visit each other. The companies were situated for decades in the center of Herzogenaurach. Puma is on the north bank of the little Aurach River, and Adidas is on the south bank. The corporate sites are still there, but now most of the employees have moved to other office buildings.

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