From house slippers to breakthrough models and world victories - this is the way Rudy Dassler went.
His success story began in 1948 when he founded his own brand called PUMA. At the beginning of his journey, Rudy could not have imagined what value PUMA would have for the next generations of professional athletes. Dozens of legends, from Pele to Michael Schumacher, stepped onto the victory podium wearing German shoes.
Already in the first year of its existence, the PUMA brand launched the Atom professional football boots. Four years later, the company revolutionized the sport with the invention of spikes. In the future, development on the boots continued with the addition of a formstrip - an element of lateral support and a sign of the brand's quality.
In 1958, the national teams of Brazil and Sweden met in the final of the world championship. Both teams played in PUMA King boots. Pele, the leader of the South American team, scored two goals in the final. In 1962 and 1970 he repeated his success, becoming the only three-time world champion.
PUMA King has become a real hallmark of the brightest football players of the 20th century. Diego Maradona in 1986 arranged a benefit performance in this particular pair, when he sent two of the most talked about goals in the history of football against England. Ballon d'Or winners Lothar Matheus, Eusebio and Johan Cruyff also played in PUMA King boots. And the latter even signed contracts for personalized models "Puma Cruyffi" and "Puma Eusebio".
To this day, PUMA boots are worn by superstars including Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Aguero, Adam Lallana and Cesc Fàbregas.
The company has always met the needs of football fans. Since the 1970s, the Terrace collection has evolved, taking its name from the "standing" seats in the stadium. It includes three models PUMA men's suede sneakers: PUMA Bluebird, PUMA Roma and PUMA Trimm Quick.
The second key direction of the company's sports marketing is tennis. Almost simultaneously in the mid-1980s, PUMA signed contracts with two young talents: Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova. Already in 1985, the German became the youngest winner in the history of Wimbledon. Martina won Wimbledon in the same season, as well as another Grand Slam tournament - the Australian Open. For two in their career, athletes celebrated victories in 24 Grand Slam tournaments in singles.
In 1998, PUMA partnered with 17-year-old Serena Williams. Since childhood, the girl had two passions: tennis and fashion design. Therefore, a special yellow dress and a unique pair of shoes were prepared for the talented junior, which embodied the fusion of sport and fashion. So a new direction from PUMA appeared - SportLifestile.
PUMA running spikes were worn by Jim Hines, the first man on the planet to run a hundred meters in less than 10 seconds. In 1968, at the US Championships in Sacramento, he showed a result of 9.9 seconds, and a few months later he repeated this achievement at the Olympics in Mexico City and won another gold in the 4x100 relay.
British runner Christy Linford won gold at the 1992 Olympics and the 1993 World Championships in PUMA sports shoes. In 1995, he became the star of the European Cup when he set competition records for 100 and 200 meters within an hour. And a year later, the athlete appeared at the Atlanta Olympics in contact lenses with the brand symbol - a cougar.
But the company signed the most successful contract with the lightning man, Usain Bolt. In Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro, he won eight Olympic gold medals. In total, during his career, an athlete from Jamaica set eight world records, many of which are still held. Bolt won every time wearing PUMA running shoes.
The PUMA brand has collaborated with Formula 1 teams. In 2003, the company signed a multi-year contract to supply shoes and fireproof clothing to Williams, with the charismatic Juan Pablo Montoya at the helm.
However, the most famous pilot who has worn the boots of the German brand is Michael Schumacher. In 2004, PUMA and Ferrari, which was represented by the Red Baron, entered into an agreement for the production of fan products and the supply of racing shoes. Wearing a heat-resistant boot called the Future Cat, the German won eight Grand Prix in two years.
Sports equipment has long been an integral part of the athlete's success. The results of football players, tennis players, runners, and even Formula 1 pilots depend on the strength, lightness, and mobility of shoes. The stories of the greatest athletes of the 20th and 21st centuries who wore PUMA brand products confirm this thesis.
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