Today, second chapter of a sport chronological catch up. Starting in 1979 where the Copa Mundial, the world’s best selling football shoe then, was launched until 1995 where Nike signed CBF (Brazilian Football Federation), and entered significantly the football business. Puma has also a couple of milestones when Heike Drechsler, Jamaican Merlene Ottey, Linford Christie and Colin Jackson all win Gold medals wearing Puma footwear. The game is on!!
adidas, Puma, Nike: The game is on!
- Nike’s air technology patented by inventor M. Frank Rudy is introduced in the tailwind running shoe.
- The Copa Mundial is launched and becomes the world’s best selling football shoe.
- Steve Ovett wins the Nike’s first Olympic gold in Moscow in the 800m race.
- The German team outfitted from head to toe by adidas wins their second European Football Championship.
- BRS, Inc merges into Nike Inc on December 31 and the company officially becomes known as Nike Inc.
- Nike signs Michael Jordan to an endorsement contract. The first model of his signature shoe, the Air Jordan is originally banned by the NBA.
- At the Olympic games in LA, 124 out of 140 nations compete in adidas with 259 medals being won.
- Boris Becker wins Wimbledon wearing Puma shoes and playing with a Puma racket.
- Puma stock is traded on the Munich and Frankfurt stock exchanges.
- Diego Maradona wins the World Cup with Argentina with Puma shoes. He scored the famous “Hand of God” which later will be voted the goal of the century by FIFA.
- Horst Dassler dies at the age of 51
- The Nike Air Max is introduced. A television ad featuring the Beatles’ song “Revolution” is the first time that a song performed by the Beatles is used in a TV ad.
- adidas becomes a corporation but retains family ownership
- Puma athlete Lothar Matthäus captains the German national team and wins the country’s 3rd World Cup.
- Robert Louis Dreyfuss becomes President of adidas AG. The Original waves surfaces with the Gazelle being produced in small quantities.
- Jochen Zeitz is appointed Chairman and CEO of Puma. At the age of 30, Zeitz became the youngest Chairman in German history to head a company listed on the German Stock Exchange.
- At the track & Field World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany’s Heike Drechsler, Jamaican Merlene Ottey, Linford Christie and Colin Jackson all win Gold medals wearing Puma footwear.
- Nike enters the ice hockey market after acquiring Canstar, the parent company of hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer. Previously, Nike had only made ice hockey jerseys for the Edmonton Oilers at the height of Wayne Gretzky-mania.
- Nike signs a long term partnership with the Brazilian and USA football federations and moves into english football, signing a kit deal with Arsenal.
- 6 years after the family-owned company was transformed into a corporation, adidas goes public.
Those years have been great years for sport in general. With personalities like Michael Jordan, Diego Maradona or Linford Christie the industry was blessed. Also fantastic products came up. The Copa Mundial or the Nike Air Max were must haves back then. The game was on!
The last chapter will start in 1996 until now where the industry faced major changes. With adidas and Nike respectively acquiring Reebok and Umbro gave an additional boost to an already powerful industry. Puma did not give up football, and focused heavily on African nations. Also with social media chipping in, new marketing tools showed up marketers need to embrace and get used to.
Stay tuned for the next and last chapter: “adidas, Puma, Nike: a sport legacy”.
M. Frank Rudy
Tailwind running shoe
Boris Becker and his Puma racket
Nike Air Max
Just do it tagline
Nike acquires luxury brand Cole Haan
Robert Louis Dreyfuss
Nike and CBF