PUMA have struck new kit deals with two historic clubs in triple-title winners Huddersfield Town and Arsenal – fitting for a company of real sporting pedigree.
The firm has been at the forefront of sports footwear and clothing ever since their formation as a result of an amazing family split back in 1948.
Originally brothers Adolf, known as Adi, and Rudi Dassler worked together producing shoes in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, near Nuremberg.
Adi drove from Bavaria to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin with a suitcase full of running spikes and persuaded American sprint star Jesse Owens to wear them.
He won four gold medals, and while Adolf Hitler was famously unimpressed, the Dasslers must have been delighted as their business boomed.
But while their shoes flew off the shelves like Owens left the starting line, the brothers were constantly falling out.
The rift reached crisis point three years after the War, when the brothers went their separate ways while staying in the same trade.
Adi formed Adidas, named after the first three letters of his Christian and surnames, while Rudi set up Ruda, a title which quickly changed to Puma.
The respective headquarters were either side of Herzogenaurach’s Aurach River, with the rivalry between the two firms fierce.
Herzogenaurach became known as ‘the town of bent necks’ – because people were said to look down to see which shoes strangers wore!
Even its two football clubs were divided: ASV Herzogenaurach supporting Adidas and 1 FC Herzogenaurach endorsing Puma, with it’s trademark ‘formstrip’.
In 1948, when West Germany started playing international football, several players, including Herbert Burdenski, scorer of their first goal, wore Puma boots.
Four years later, at the Olympics in Helsinki, Josy Barthel of Luxembourg won Puma’s first gold in the 1,500m.
Current sprint king Usain Bolt wears Puma, while the firm have had deals with legendary footballers Pele, Eusebio, Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona.
Others to have worn their boots include Kenny Dalglish, Lothar Matthaus, Didier Deschamps and Cesc Fabregas.
Puma are strong in the USA, where they became known for the suede basketball shoe introduced in 1968 which was to take the name of New York Knicks star Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier.
They are also big players on the Formula One scene, producing specialist shoes and clothing for drivers and back-up staff.
Part of the French luxury group PPR since 2007, they still have headquarters in Herzogenaurach as well as bases in Boston, London and Hong Kong, and employ around 11,000 people.
Puma also have strong links with the African market, an area where they believe Arsenal are particularly strong.
Their deal with the London giants, to run from 2014-15, is said to be worth a potential £170m over five years and is the biggest in English football.
It ends Arsenal’s 20-year tie-up with Nike, with whom Town had an option after that firm’s decision to sell off Umbro, who were halfway through a four-year kit deal with the John Smith’s club.
Town instead chose to go with Puma, joining a stable which also includes Cardiff, Newcastle, Wolves and Rangers.
New Town training wear is already on sale to supporters.
Meanwhile the home shirt will be unveiled on Friday, June 21, and be available the day after, with the change kit following.