Puma SE

Puma SE
Societas Europaea
Traded as FWB: PUM
Industry Clothing and consumer goods manufacture
Founded 1948 (1948)
Founder Rudolf Dassler
Headquarters Herzogenaurach, Germany
Area served
Key people
  • Bjørn Gulden, CEO
  • Michael Lämmermann, CFO
  • Lars Sørensen, COO
Products Footwear, apparel, accessories, sportswear, sports equipment
Revenue €3.387 billion (2015)[1]
€96.3 million (2015)
Profit €37.1 million (2015)
Total assets €2.620 billion (end 2015)
Total equity €2.620 billion (end 2015)
Owner Kering
Number of employees
11,351 (end 2015)
Subsidiaries Cobra Golf
Website www.puma.com
PUMA headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

PUMA SE, branded as PUMA, is a German multinational company that designs and manufactures athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The company was founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler. In 1924, Rudolf and his brother Adolf Dassler had jointly formed the company Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik. The relationship between the two brothers deteriorated until the two agreed to split in 1948, forming two separate entities, Adidas and PUMA. Both companies are currently based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

PUMA has been a public company since 1986, listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Since 2007 PUMA has been part of French group Kering (formerly known as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute or PPR). Since 1 July 2013, the company has been led by former football professional Bjørn Gulden (CEO).

As of 2016, PUMA SE employs more than 10,000 people worldwide and distributes its products in more than 120 countries.[3]

Following the split from his brother, Rudolf Dassler originally registered the new-established company as Ruda, but later changed the name to PUMA.[4] PUMA's earliest logo consisted of a square and beast jumping through a D, which was registered, along with the company's name, in 1948. PUMA's shoe and clothing designs feature the PUMA logo and the distinctive "Formstrip" which was introduced in 1958.[5]


PUMA offers products for Football, Running, Training and Fitness, Golf, Motorsports and LIfestyle. In the past, it sponsored a number of legendary athletes, including Pelé, Eusébio, Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Clyde Frazier, Lothar Matthäus, Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova, Linford Christie, Colin Jackson, Heike Drechsler and Michael Schumacher among others.

Currently, international footballers Sergio Agüero, Antoine Griezmann, Marco Verratti, Yaya Touré, Olivier Giroud, Gianluigi Buffon and Marco Reus are sporting PUMA football boots. It also has the world’s fastest man and Jamaican track athlete Usain Bolt under contract.

In terms of football clubs, PUMA sponsors Arsenal FC and Borussia Dortmund National football teams Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Uruguay and Olympic Handball Champion Denmark are also endorsed. In Track & Field, PUMA sponsors the Jamaican, Cuban, and Barbados Athletic Associations.

In order to support its women’s business, PUMA endorses fashion icons Rihanna and Kylie Jenner. In December 2014, Rihanna was also named Creative Director, overseeing direction of the womenswear line in December 2014.[6]

Puma has also named the Korean boy group, BTS, as ambassadors of the company. The group has shot several commercials, advertising shoes and clothing for the company.



Christoph von Wilhelm Dassler was a worker in a shoe factory, while his wife Pauline ran a small laundry in the Franconian town of Herzogenaurach, 20 km (12.4 mi) from the city of Nuremberg. After leaving school their son, Rudolf Dassler, joined his father at the shoe factory. When he returned from fighting in World War I, Rudolf was trained as a salesman at a porcelain factory, and later in a leather trading business in Nuremberg.

In 1924, Rudolf and his younger brother, Adolf, nicknamed "Adi", founded a shoe factory. They named the new business "Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik" (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) which was the only business at the time that manufactured sports shoes. The pair started their venture in their mother's laundry. 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.[7] In 1927, they moved into a separate building.

The brothers drove from Bavaria to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin with a suitcase full of spikes and persuaded United States sprinter Jesse Owens to use them, the first sponsorship for an African American. Owens won four gold medals. Business boomed; the Dasslers were selling 200,000 pairs of shoes annually before World War II.[8]

Both brothers joined the Nazi Party, but Rudolf was slightly closer to the party. A growing rift between the brothers reached a breaking point during a 1943 Allied bomb attack. Adi and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf and his family were already in. "Here are the bloody bastards again," Adi remarked, apparently referring to the Allied war planes, but Rudolf, due to his apparent insecurity, was convinced his brother meant him and his family.[9] When 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.[7]


After increasingly different views of how to run the business, the brothers split the business in 1948. Rudolf moved to the other side of the Aurach River to start his own company. Adolf started his own company using a name he formed using his nickname—Adi—and the first three letters of his last name—Das—to establish Adidas. Rudolf created a new firm that he called "Ruda", from "Ru" in Rudolf and "Da" in Dassler. A few months later, Rudolf's company changed its name to PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler in 1948.[10]

A pair of PUMA sport-lifestyle shoes with the company's distinctive "Formstrip" design

PUMA and Adidas entered a fierce and bitter rivalry after the split. The town of Herzogenaurach was divided on the issue, leading to the nickname "the town of bent necks"—people looked down to see which shoes strangers wore.[11]

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


Rudolf developed a football boot with screw-in studs, called the "SUPER ATOM" in collaboration with people, such as West Germany’s national coach Sepp Herberger.

At the 1952 Summer Olympics, 1500 metres runner Josy Barthel of Luxembourg won PUMA's first Olympic gold in Helsinki, Finland.


At the 1960 Summer Olympics PUMA paid German sprinter Armin Hary to wear PUMAs in the 100 metre sprint final. Hary had worn Adidas before and asked Adolf for payment, but Adidas rejected this request. The German won gold in PUMAs, but then laced up Adidas for the medals ceremony, to the shock of the two Dassler brothers. Hary hoped to cash in from both, but Adi was so enraged he banned the Olympic champion.[8]


PUMA became a public company in 1986,[12] and thereafter was listed on the Börse München and Frankfurt Stock Exchange.[13]


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.[14]


For the fiscal year 2003, the company had revenue of €1.274 billion. PUMA were the commercial sponsors for the 2002 anime series Hungry Heart: Wild Striker, with the jerseys and clothing sporting the PUMA brand. PUMA ranks as one of the top shoe brands with Adidas and Nike.[11]


In February 2007 PUMA reported that its profits had fallen by 26% to €32.8 million ($43 million; £22 million) during the final three months of 2006. Most of the decline in profits was due to higher costs linked to its expansion; sales rose by more than a third to €480.6 million.[15]

In early April 2007 PUMA's shares rose €29.25 per share, or about 10.2%, at €315.24 per share.[16]

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 €5.3 billion. PPR said that it would launch a "friendly" takeover for PUMA, worth €330 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.[17]

As of July 2007 PPR owns over 60% of PUMA stock.


In July 2011 the company completed a conversion from an Aktiengesellschaft (German public limited company) to a Societas Europaea, the European Union-wide equivalent, changing its name from PUMA AG Rudolf Dassler Sport to PUMA SE.[18] At the same time, Franz Koch replaced the long-serving Jochen Zeitz as the firm's CEO, with Zeitz becoming chairman.[19]


The company has been led by former football professional Bjørn Gulden (CEO) since July 1, 2013.

PUMA is the main producer of enthusiast driving shoes and race suits. They are the primary producer for Formula One and NASCAR clothing. They won the rights to sponsor the 2006 FIFA World Cup champions, the Italian national football team, making and sponsoring the clothing worn by the team. They entered a partnership with BMW, Ducati and Ferrari to make PUMA-Ferrari, PUMA-Ducati and PUMA-BMW shoes. On 15 March 2007 PUMA launched its 2007/2008 line of uniforms for a club, and Brazilian football club Grêmio will be the first to use the laser-sewn technology, similar to that worn by Italy at the 2006 World Cup, because their season starts six months earlier than European clubs.


Rihanna was named Creative Director of PUMA overseeing direction of the womenswear line in December 2014.[6]

As of 2014, PUMA SE employs more than 10,000 people worldwide and distributes its products in more than 120 countries.[3]

Special editions of King football boots

In 2008, PUMA commemorated the 40th anniversary of the "King" model of boots with a special anniversary edition, the King XL (XL is 40 in Roman Numerals), a tribute to Portuguese footballer Eusébio, who scored 42 goals with King boots in 1968, winning the Golden Boot Award as Europe's leading scorer.[20] PUMA has continued to release new versions of the King range, and released a version in 2009 to celebrate the history of Italian soccer, and in particular the PUMA King XL Italia, in honour of double World Cup winning coach Vittorio Pozzo.[21]

In 2010, a PUMA King model was released commemorating the 50th birthday of Diego Maradona,[22] with a model called the PUMA King Diego Finale football boot. This edition was created in the colours of La Albiceleste, the Argentina National football team.

Employment practices

Organizations that were promoting fair trade and worker's rights did not criticize PUMA's employment practices in their developing world factories, predominantly relating to workers in China, Turkey, El Salvador, and Indonesia.[23]

The company has made some steps towards greater transparency. In 2000 PUMA began auditing all of its suppliers on a yearly basis, and makes the results available in its sustainability reports.[24] Since 2005 it has publicly provided a list of its suppliers.

PUMA has made a strong commitment to respecting workers rights in some areas. For example, PUMA has obtained the Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation for its Australian-made products.[25] This labour-friendly accreditation applies to only a tiny percentage of PUMA’s total production.

Environmental practices

In May 2011, The Guardian released an article saying that PUMA was "world's first major company to put a value on its environmental impact". According to the article the company "has made a commitment that within four years, half its international collections will be manufactured according to its internal sustainability standard, by using more sustainable materials such as recycled polyester, as well as ensuring its suppliers develop more sustainable materials and products."[26]


PUMA goalkeeper gloves and PUMA motorsport gloves.
A pair of PUMA Suede shoes,
a style introduced in 1968.
PUMA store in Osaka.
PUMA outlet in Hong Kong.

PUMA and Adidas entered a fierce and bitter rivalry after the split. The town of Herzogenaurach was divided on the issue, leading to the nickname "the town of bent necks"—people looked down to see which shoes strangers wore.[28] Even the town's two football clubs were divided: ASV Herzogenaurach club supported Adidas, while 1 FC Herzogenaurach endorsed Rudolf's footwear.[7] When handymen were called to Rudolf's home, they would deliberately wear Adidas shoes. Rudolf would tell them to go to the basement and pick out a pair of free PUMAs.[7] The two brothers never officially reconciled.[29]



  1. http://about.puma.com/damfiles/default/investor-relations/financial-reports/en/2015/GB_2015_ENG_Final_links_low-res-8932dbc11383cd85124e1ba63d86b5cc.pdf
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External links

Media related to Puma AG footwear at Wikimedia Commons

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