As you may or may not know, the iconic sports brands Adidas and Puma were started by two German brothers, Adolf and Rudolf Dassler in the small Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach in 1948, after a bitter split. No one knows exactly what caused the rift, but what was left behind was a town with divided loyalties that somewhat persist to this day. Folks south of the of the Aurach river have come to identify with “the three stripes,” while Puma territory was on the north side of the river.
As a piece by the Wall Street Journal explains, the town has become known as the “city of bent necks” as people have become accustomed to looking downwards to size up other people’s shoes, and thus where their loyalties lie. However, the article goes on to explain that such entrenched divisions have also been relaxed. The article also gives an interesting profile into the branding history of these two sporting superpowers through the eyes of the small, humble town, where it all began.