Today, it is hard to find successful, major companies that value the rights of their workers and the condition of the environment. Puma has managed to become a very popular shoe brand while still maintaining ethical business practices and attempting to reduce its carbon footprint. This brand is one that remains respectable while expanding, and continues to dominate the shoe market.
History of Puma
Puma had its humble start with two brothers, Rudolph and Adolph Dassler, who had a talent for creating sports products. The brothers opened the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory in 1924. The brothers worked together for some years, bringing the Dassler brand world attention when athletes in the 1936 Berlin Olympics wore their shoes.
Eventually, the brothers parted ways. They split the company equally in 1948; Rudolph created the Puma brand while his brother created the Adidas brand. The Puma brand immediately launched a shoe called The Atom made specifically for soccer players.
In 1952, Puma released the Super Atom, which was the first-ever shoe to offer screw-in studs. The next shoe that Puma released was the Brasil, which was worn by the Brazilian world soccer team when they won the 1958 World Cup. This brought international attention to the Puma brand.
Why Choose Puma?
Puma offered shoes that featured an advanced production technique called vulcanization. This technique bonded the sole and shaft of the shoe in a way that led to enhanced performance. Because of this, it became an incredibly popular shoe among soccer players around the world.
The Famous Jumping Cat
The jumping cat on Puma’s logo was designed by a cartoonist named Lutz Backes and was released as the official logo of Puma in 1967. Eventually, it was changed to feature the jumping cat next to the word Puma in 1979.
In 1986, Puma, which is branded as PUMA, became a public company. By 2003, Puma was ranked as a leading shoe brand along with Adidas and Nike. It continued to grow, releasing better shoes over the years, and it began to sponsor athletes and sports organizations in order to use brand loyalty to remain a leading shoe company.
The Celebrities of PUMA
Puma has developed shoes in conjunction with some well-known celebrities and brands. This celebrity endorsement helped to cement the brand and present it as desirable to the general public. Some of the celebrity endorsements include:
- The launch of the Clyde shoe in 1973 that was designed for basketball player Walt “Clyde” Frazier
- The official sponsorship of Serena Williams, announced in 1998
- A partnership with Porsche and Sparco to create fireproof footwear
- The unveiling of the Serena Williams Tennis Collection in 2002
- The addition of Rihanna as a global ambassador for PUMA’s Women’s Training collection
- A collaboration with Hello Kitty and the resulting launch of the Puma X Hello Kitty For All Time Collection
- A partnership with Selena Gomez and the subsequent release of the Puma X SG line
A Truly Admirable Brand
Throughout its growth and expansion, Puma has remained a respectable company that has utilized safe and fair employment practices and environmentally-friendly policies. While other companies were being criticized for using sweatshops and unfair labor, Puma was very transparent in their employment practices and made commitments to respecting the rights of its workers. In May 2011, Puma was hailed as the “world’s first major company to put a value on its environmental impact.” The company used recycled and sustainable materials when available and promoted positive environmental practices throughout all of its company.