German sportswear major Puma on Monday claimed that it has become the top sportswear retailer in India, surpassing rivals such as Nike, Adidas, Skechers and Reebok in terms of yearly sales. Puma reported that it recorded a sale of Rs 1,157 crore for the 12-month period ending December 2018 against Rs 958 crore reported in the year-ago period. Puma follows the Jan-December annual calendar while its Nike, Adidas, Skechers, and Reebok go by the April-March financial year cycle. In the 2017-18 calendar, Adidas recorded a sale of 1,132 crores, up from Rs 1,100 crore reported in FY 2016-17.
During the same period, Nike recorded a sale of 828 crores against 807 crores. Reebok recorded a sale dip from 416 crores to 391 crores. Interestingly India is the only country where Puma’s sales have crossed the sales of other sportswear giants such as Adidas and Nike. The bitter rivalry between Puma and Adidas goes beyond mere corporate competition. It was, in fact, a sibling fallout that created two of the world’s biggest sportswear brands. In the 1920s, German brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler launched a shoe company together.’
Their business picked up after Dassler shoes were used by medal-winning Olympians throughout the 1930s. But along with sales, tension also spiked between the Dassler brothers, which reached a boiling point during World War II. While it was not clear what exactly caused the rift, it was said to be a result of miscommunication. The brothers eventually split in 1947 with Rudolf forming a new firm that he called Ruda – from Rudolf Dassler – later rebranded Puma, while Adolf, who preferred to be called Adi, named his business Adidas.