Adidas, Puma and World Peace

Herzogenaurach might not be top of everyone’s holiday destination list this year, but this unassuming German town was the birthplace of two of the world’s largest sportswear brands; Adidas and Puma. In a totally unprecedented move, employees from the two companies are set to participate in a football match to mark Peace One Day, a global peace initiative conceived in 1999 by film-maker Jeremy Gilley.

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Jeremy Gilley, founder of Peace One Day, with children from an orphanage in Baidoa, Somalia

He wanted to find a starting point for world peace, and believed that the best way to do this would be to have a single annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence; a wish granted in 2001 when the 192 United Nations member states unanimously agreed to adopt 21st September as that day.

Adi & Rudolf Dassler

The feud between Adidas and Puma stretches back over 60 years, when Adi and Rudolf Dassler, two brothers from Herzogenaurach, went their separate ways after founding Gebrueder Dassler Sportschuhfabrik, a textile plant in their town. Adi went on to set up Adidas, Rudolf founded Puma, and the two never spoke again; they are even buried at opposite ends of the town’s graveyard.

Executives at both brands believed that the symbolic coming together of the two companies after so many years would be a fitting way of raising awareness of and paying tribute to Peace One Day 2009, which takes place this coming Monday.

Peace One Day

James

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