Forever Faster from day one
PUMA has relentlessly pushed sport and culture forward by creating fast products for the world’s fastest athletes. For more than 70 years, we draw strength and credibility from our heritage in sports.
the dassler brothers
A first step in a long history driven by speed and performance: The brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler founded the company “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) in their hometown Herzogenaurach, Germany. Unbeknownst to them, they place the founding stone of the world capital of sports shoes.
Within the town, they're not the only shoe factory. More, smaller factories are scattered throughout the town, though many did not manage to survive past the 1950s and 60s. The brothers started their factory in their parents' home in 1919, moving into its proper facility in 1924.
Within the first few years, both gain notoriety. A majority of German athletes wear spikes at the Olympic Summer Games in Amsterdam, 1928. In 1936, Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Olympic Games in Berlin, all while sporting Dassler spikes. More medals soon followed: seven gold and five bronze medals, all for world class athletes wearing Dassler shoes. The first records are smashed as well: two World and five Olympic records. It’s their international breakthrough.
28 years after founding their company, the Dassler brothers fell out and went separate ways. Rudolf Dassler moved into another building, which belonged to the family. Together with 14 employees, he transformed this storage facility into a factory and founded his own company:
The “Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler (RUDA)” was registered as a business in January 1948, commencing operations a few months later on June 1, 1948. It took another four months until the PUMA brand was born: on October 1, 1948 “PUMA” was registered at the German Patent and Trademark Office. In December 1948, in a letter to partners and customers, Rudolf Dassler announced his decision to name the company “PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler”. The details of the new company were added to Germany’s commercial register on January 14, 1949.
Herzogenaurach has been a shoe makers town since the middle ages. And over the years it has developed into the world's sport shoe capital.Mr. PUMA Helmut Fischer
After the major success of PUMA's first football boot, the ATOM, in 1950, the launch of PUMA's SUPER ATOM in 1952 creates a stir. Rudolf Dassler collaborates with experts, such as West Germany's national coach Sepp Herberger to develop the world's first boot with screw-in studs. For PUMA, it marks the beginning of our football heritage.
It’s also the year that the first PUMA running shoes play a part in the breaking of a world record. Heinz Fütterer breaks the 100m world record in Yokohama, Japan, while wearing PUMA running shoes with an amazing time of 10.2 seconds. In typical PUMA athlete fashion, he adds to the success four years later, when he set the world record in the 4x100m relay. For the young "Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler", it's all a huge success.
In 1958, the second brand logo is patented: the FORMSTRIP. Originally created to stabalize the foot inside the shoe, it is now the typical PUMA trademark found on almost all of PUMA's footwear and is used as a design element on our apparel products. And it was just in time too - thanks to emerging media, the FORMSTRIP can be seen all over the world!
With Brazil taking home the Football World Cup trophy the same year, PUMA is equally in public focus, as PUMA shoes are the only German-made football boots in the final in Stockholm, Sweden.
A STRIKING KING
Top scorers score great rewards. We honor our athletes in our own way.
Portuguese striker sensation and Ballon d'Or winner Eusébio becomes top scorer in the 1966 World Cup in England while wearing PUMA football boots.
Honoring this accomplishment and Eusébio's continued fantastic form, PUMA introduces the legendary PUMA KING football boot in 1968.
ENTER NO. 1
The world famous "No. 1 Logo" takes shape: The puma takes its leap across the upper right corner of the word logo. Only minor changes have been made over the years: the eye and nuzzle are gone and the ears are more pronounced today.
With the PUMA TAHOE brush spike, PUMA enables numerous American athletes, setting 200m and 400m world records at South Lake Tahoe prior to the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. The innovative brush sole uses 68 spikes of 4mm length placed in 6 rows in the forefoot to provide better traction on the newly introduced artificial Tartan tracks. A short-lived triumph, as the shoe is deemed "too dangerous" and is therefore banned by the association.
Still, we see history in the making: Lee Evans (400m, 4x400m relay), Willie Davenport (110m high hurdles) and Bob Seagren (pole-vault) win Gold while wearing PUMA spikes. PUMA athlete Tommie Smith also wins gold in the 200m sprint and creates a symbol for a generation: he and his teammate John Carlos (bronze) raised their fist wearing black gloves in a silent gesture, to represent and to protest discrimation against African-Americans and other minorities in the USA, apartheid and racism.
For the growing number of athletes and teams, PUMA enters the sports textile market. With the FORMSTRIP implemented as a 7cm wide, conically tapered, color-contrasting stripe along the sleeves, the iconic T7 training suit is created.
FIT FOR A KING
With the PUMA KING from 1970, we created another revolutionary product. Its flat structure made it lighter with increased softness and comfort.
PUMA's aim was to always sign the top-notch superstars playing in PUMAs. Pelé has long been a member of the team and he wore the new PUMA KING boots with success.
Pelé is crowned “Player of the Tournament” while wearing PUMA KING boots. For him and the Brazilian team, it's the country’s third World Cup title. After finishing his career, Pelé is officially honored as “Football Player of the Century”.
I had the luck to spend the week on sales tour with Pelé, so I got to know him a little - that guy always kept his cool.Mr. PUMA Helmut Fischer
The New York Knicks' Point Guard Walt Frazier makes a name for himself on the basketball hardwood by winning two NBA Championships and often stealing his opponent's ball with intelligent defense, off the court with his signature style, earning him the nickname "Clyde" after the movie character. So, when he asked for a custom-made pair of basketball shoes, we were in the game. That's how the PUMA CLYDE is born, making Frazier the first professional basketball signature athlete. Frazier's iconic CLYDE combination: alternating formstrips, fedoras and long sideburns.
THE TRUE STRIPES
At the 1974 World Cup in West-Germany, the Dutch national team sports their signature orange jersey featuring three stripes of a different supplier – all but one. Captain Johan Cruyff dominates the tournament in a custom-made PUMA kit featuring only two stripes along the sleeves, feeling so connected to us that he couldn't play in anything else. He writes football history and bags the "Player of the Tournament" and eventually wins the Ballon d'Or for his third time.
A CAT ON COURT
PUMA tennis shoes are Guillermo Vilas' constant companion on his winning streak around the world – quite literally, still holding the record for longest winning streak in tennis history with 46 unbeaten matches. He wins the French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open twice, establishing PUMA's spot on top as a supplier of high-level tennis athletes.
Also a member of the PUMA tennis roster: the most successful tennis player of her time – Martina Navrátilová. All in all she wins a record setting 167 singles and 177 doubles tournaments, among them an Open Era record of 59 major titles won by a single player, accomplishing a "Grand Slam Boxed Set" (Career Grand Slam in singles, doubles and mixed doubles) while being the only player to hold the top spot in singles and doubles for over 200 weeks.
Together with Guillermo Vilas and Boris Becker, the trio helps PUMA to become one of the most popular brands in tennis.
WORLD'S FIRST SMART SHOE
In 1985 PUMA develops a new cushioning system: the Running System, now known as RS – a sole that combines four components with different physical and chemical characteristics into one unit to absorb shock and control motion. On the basis of this new system, the RS-Computer shoe is developed – the first computer shoe worldwide. It translates data and gives runners the ability to compare past runs with future goals, learning and understanding how to become faster, more efficient, and competitive.
YO SOY UN PUMA
Diego Armando Maradona goes down in history with his second goal in the quarter finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico against England. Starting from his own half, he passes six players including the goalkeeper, touches the ball eleven times with his PUMA KINGs and scores the "Goal of the Century".
The company goes public as PUMA AG and the PUMA stock is traded on the Munich and Frankfurt stock exchanges. Armin Dassler, PUMA CEO and son of the company founder Rudolf Dassler, celebrates this moment with his colleagues from the PUMA board.
PUMA KING player Lothar Matthäus, whowas born and raised in PUMA's home city Herzogenaurach, leads West-Germany to its third World Cup title in Italy. The captain is also subsequently voted the Ballon d'Or winner ("European Player of the Year"), "World Player of the Year" and "World Athlete".
TURN IT ON
Faster lacing on faster shoes. PUMA launches the game-changing PUMA DISC System technology on a running shoe.
Launched in 1991, the DISC System is the first laceless sports shoe with a system of internal wires that tighten the upper for a perfect fit when turning the DISC which worked perfectly in tandem with PUMA's cushioning technologies TRINOMIC (1990) and its successor CELL (1997).
One year year later, Germany's Heike Drechsler (long jump) and Dieter Baumann (5.000m) and Great Britain's Linford Christie (100m) all clinch Gold medals at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona wearing PUMA DISC System spikes.
Jochen Zeitz is appointed CEO at the age of 30, becoming the youngest chairman in German history to head a public company. Zeitz spearheads the restructuring of PUMA, in financial difficulties at the time, and manages to turn it from a low-price brand into the premium sport-lifestyle company and one of the top three brands in the sporting goods industry it is today.
At the 1993 World Championships in Athletics, Germany’s Heike Drechsler (long jump), Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey (200m) and Great Britain's Linford Christie (100m) and Colin Jackson (110m hurdles) – PUMA’s Fantastic Four - all win gold medals.
EYES OF A CAT
Linford Christie proves at a press conference prior to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta that he's a true PUMA athlete. He appears wearing contact lenses that overlay his pupils with the PUMA cat, displaying his spirit for all to see. The picture of Linford wearing the PUMA lenses spreads rapidly and is world famous ever since.
As the first sports brand, PUMA merges sports and fashion through a cooperation with German star designer Jil Sander. A lifestyle version combining the iconic KING and the running shoe EASY RIDER launched in close collaboration and becomes a desired fashion sneaker – opening up the sportlifestyle segment.
SPEEDING UP FASHION
The PUMA SPEEDCAT represents our long-standing connection to motorsports. Its design originated from 1998, when the fireproof version was created for Formula One drivers. Its innovative and elegant low-profile look, emphasized by its characteristic stitched cat logo, quickly turns the SPEEDCAT into a fashion classic.
Since then we established ourselves as one of the top suppliers for racing gear and merchandise in Formula One by signing deals with the three most dominant teams in Scuderia Ferrari (2004), Mercedes-AMG F1 (2012) and Red Bull Racing (2015).
INDOMITABLE LIONS (AND LIONESS)
At the 2002 African Cup of Nations in Mali, the PUMA-partnered Cameroon national team shakes things up with unprecedented sleeveless kits and takes home the title.
In advance of the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan the FIFA banned the shirts, forcing our designers to find a new creative solution. The result: black mesh sleeves, allowing for the iconic silhouette to remain.
In 2002, PUMA and Serena Williams first unveil a dress in Cameroon colors, inspired by the national team's sleeveless jerseys, for the French Open and later on the skintight "Catsuit", causing a stir at the US Open and cementing her status as No. 1 in the world after winning three consecutive Grand Slam tournaments this year.
It's a year in which PUMA stands together with our partners, through success and through opposition.
The Cameroon national team follows up on their controversial 2002 sleveless kits with the even more daring one-piece and skintight PUMA UniQT gear. For PUMA, the development of the kits happened with fair play in mind. FIFA however punishes the Indomitable Lions by revoking six points in the 2006 World Cup qualification and imposing a fine. PUMA shows itself to be a real teamplayer and supports the Cameroon team. The legal dispute ends with a compromise and a shared donation to a football development project in Cameroon.
WORLD CHAMPION ITALY
At the Football World Cup, PUMA sponsors 12 of 32 teams – more than any other supplier. Italy beats France 5:3 after penalty shoot-out and for the first time in the company's history, a PUMA-sponsored national team becomes football World Cup champion. Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon with his trustworthy PUMA gloves wins the Yashin-Award for "Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament".
ON A RUN
Just a year after his amazing success at the Beijing Olympics, Usain Bolt ups the ante with a new record.
Usain "Lightning" Bolt breaks his own 100m world record with an amazing time of 9.58 seconds at the World Championships in Athletics in Berlin. He also smashes his 200m world record from 2008 to become the World Champion in 19.19 seconds. Two records that to this day have not been beaten. Also the Jamaican team comes in first in the 4x100 relay, and Usain adds his first World Championship Gold medals to his track record. This manifests the dominance Bolt would have in the sport for many years.
COBRA PUMA GOLF
PUMA made its mark on the golf world already in 2006, jumping into the category with stylish, performance ready apparel, footwear and accessories that help golfers of all levels enjoy the game and play with confidence and style. In 2010, PUMA grows as a brand with the acquisition of Cobra Golf, a brand known for technology-rich, game-changing equipment. Together, COBRA PUMA GOLF delivers a full 360 package of innovative golf products and fashion-forward style to consumers.
True to our roots in football, PUMA added German Bundesliga Champion, Borussia Dortmund, to its football portfolio long-term until 2028. BVB made it to the Champions League final in the first season of the partnership, headed by PUMA star Marco Reus. Since 2014 PUMA also became shareholder of Borussia Dortmund.
PUMA ACQUIRES DOBOTEX
PUMA acquires its Dutch licensee Dobotex, which has been designing, developing, producing and distributing PUMA socks, fanwear, swimwear and bodywear since 1997.
PUMA launches its FOREVER FASTER brand campaign in a mission to become the fastest sports brand in the world. FOREVER FASTER recognises individuality and embraces challenging convention and taking risks through bravery, confidence, determination and joy. Headlined by the fastest man alive Usain Bolt, footballers Mario Balotelli, Sergio Agüero, Marco Reus, Cesc Fabregas and Marta and golfers Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson, FOREVER FASTER embodies the PUMA spirit and mentality.
PUMA and artist Rihanna link up with her joining as PUMA Women's Creative Director and ambassador.
Rihanna's first collaboration with PUMA creates an instant classic, merging the classic PUMA SUEDE with an extra thick sole inspired by the creeper sneaker silhouette that was popular in the punk era. Born is the PUMA CREEPER.
Reason for us to celebrate: On October 1st, 1948, the PUMA brand was born when it was officially registered as a trademark at the German Patent and Trademark Office for the company that was previously known as Rudolf Dassler Schuhfabrik. PUMA celebrates its 70th anniversary with an the opening of the new 85-meter-long PUMA BRIDGE with a memorable inauguration ceremony in the presence of PUMA legends Lothar Matthäus and Merlene Ottey. Since then the PUMA BRIDGE has been the home of the PUMA ARCHIVE's history exhibition, showcasing the brand's and its athletes most important milestones and achievements over the last 70 years.
SHINING WORLD CHAMPION
Antoine Griezmann shines at the 2018 Football World Cup in Russia, leading his team to victory and delivering the second World Cup title to France.
BACK TO THE HOOPS
After almost two decades of absence, PUMA adds the basketball category to its business portfolio again. Appointing entertainment and cultural icon Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, as Creative Director for basketball, PUMA sees basketball through a cultural lens. Fashion, art and music elevate basketball and are as important for the sport as the game themselves. PUMA’s very first basketball silhouette after almost 20 years is the CLYDE COURT DISRUPT, paying homage to the original CLYDE.
COMPUTER MEETS FOOT
PUMA introduces its new state-of-the-art technology platform Fit Intelligence (Fi), designed to automate and finetune performance. First new product: the Fi training shoe. It employs a micromotor to power a uniquely configured cable system that “laces” the shoe, either through simply swiping on the Fi module up or down or by using a smartphone app to control the lacing. For the first time ever, PUMA allows tech-savvy people to participate in the beta testing to help the brand think of ways to make it smarter and more powerful.
In 2019, PUMA signs its biggest football deal in its history: the City Football Group agrees on a long-term partnership until 2029. PUMA now is the official partner of Manchester City FC, Melbourne City FC, Mumbai City FC, FC Girona, Montevideo City Torque and Sichuan Jiuniu, supplying all representative teams including men’s, women’s and youth football.
Dobotex starts a new chapter by combining with logistics group Dobologic and merchandising specialist Branded to relaunch themselves with a new brand identity - stichd.
2020 - today
RETURN OF THE KING
PUMA signs one of the brightest stars of his generation Neymar Jr to celebrate the legends of Pelé and Maradona and to bring back the legacy of the KING.
MAGICAL NUMBER SEVEN
PUMA athlete Lewis Hamilton wins his seventh Formula One World Drivers' Championship and ties with Michael Schumacher for most won championships, cementing his name in the history books, holding the record for most wins, most pole positions and podium finishes as well.
SHE MOVES US
Led by global pop superstar Dua Lipa and joined by supermodel Winnie Harlow and several female athletes, SHE MOVES US is a communications platform where PUMA celebrates women who move together to achieve and connect – through sport, culture and values.
ONLY SEE GREAT
ONLY SEE GREAT is inspired by cultural icon, entrepreneur and philanthropist Jay-Z who first said: "I only see great. I don’t see good. I don’t see compromise. We should always strive to make something great, something that will last." With this campaign, PUMA takes consumers into the minds of its athletes and ambassadors to spread a vision of hope, optimism and self-belief.
Together with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1, PUMA applies engineering insights from the world of Formula 1 and automotive to design the EVOSPEED TOKYO FUTURE FASTER+ and the EVOSPEED TOKYO FUTURE NITRO FASTER+ for its athletes.
In the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, PUMA celebrates incredible moments of its sponsored athletes, many of them writing sports history in the FASTER+ spikes, such as the outstanding performance of Karsten Warholm when he clocks in 45.94s over 400m hurdles, breaking his own world record of 46.70s.