Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and Puma and the Family Feud That Forever Changed the Business of Sports (Paperback)
Sneaker Wars is the fascinating true story of the enemy brothers behind Adidas and Puma, two of the biggest global brands of athletic footwear. Adi and Rudi Dassler started their shoe business in their mother's laundry room and achieved almost instantaneous success. But by the end of World War II a vicious feud had torn the Dasslers apart, dividing their company and their family and launching them down separate, often contentious paths. Out of the fires of their animosity, two rival sneaker brands were born, brands that would revolutionize the world of professional sports, sparking astonishing behind-the-scenes deals, fabulous ad campaigns, and multimillion-dollar contracts for pro athletes, from Joe Namath to Muhammad Ali to David Beckham.
Barbara Smit has written for The Financial Times (London), The International Herald Tribune, The Economist, and Time, among other publications. She lives in France.
“As a history of how so much of the world came to be shod in running shoes, SNEAKER WARS is a book you’ll read at a sprint. Drawing from dozens of interviews and stacks of documents, Ms. Smit reconstructs an anecdote-rich history of competition, commercialism and corruption.” — Wall Street Journal
“Smit brings a keen reporter’s eye to the schism between Puma and Adidas. The book also ably tells the broader story of the red-hot global sneaker trade.” — Conde Nast Portfolio
“What does David Beckham’s superstardom have to do with a pair of warring Bavarian brothers in the early 1900s? More than you think, according to this compelling book.” — Time Magazine
“Barbara Smit deserves high praise.” — Sunday Telegraph
“First-class piece of investigative reporting... enthralling narrative tale... invaluable contribution to our understanding of shoes, sports, corruption.” — David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero
“SNEAKER WARS is great for understanding the ins and out of the industry.” — Bobbito Garcia