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'A Tale of Three Stripes and Family Strife'

An epic tale dating back some 80 years and interwoven first with family success and then bitter brotherly betrayal, the story behind Adidas reads more like a Greek tragedy or daytime soap opera than the making of one of the world's biggest brands.

ESPN Soccernet's Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger writes about Barbara Smit's book "Sneaker Wars," which traces the beginnings of the family-owned shoemaker-cum-apparel giant back to 1920 and a "trained weaver" called Christoph Dassler.

With eldest son Adolf Dassler, or Adi for short, responsible for the actual shoe production and outgoing younger brother Rudolf doing the marketing, they formed the perfect team before a pair of World Wars and personal matters tore them apart. Adi would go on to start Adidas only to have Rudolf rival him with his own Puma brand for decades upon decades before both families lost control of their respective brands around 1990.

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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