Puma Adidas rematch as Bayern beat Dortmund in the Champions Cup

May 27, 2013

Bayern DortmundThrough a series of coincidences, the 2013 European Champions cup final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund was also a reminder of the historic rivalry between the Puma and Adidas firms

The Champions League football final [May 25th 2013] took place in Wembley stadium before a capacity crowd. The fancied Bayern Munich eventually overcame plucky resistance from opponents who also had chances to win.

Puma Adidas

By coincidence, Bayern was sponsored by Adidas and Dortmund by Puma, two brands which have a remarkable historic rivalry. You can read about it in Leaders We Deserve [2009] in a post which describes another football match which attempted to head a seventy year old rivalry:

The charity Peace One Day plays a part in peace initiatives around the world. On September 21st, among those symbolic actions were those taken by Puma and Adidas, two firms whose existence reflects a long-lasting family feud within a small Bavarian township. They played a football game football together and watched the movie “The Day after Peace” by Jeremy Gilley, director and founder of PEACE ONE DAY.

The Adidas Puma story seems right for a Hollywood movie. In the 1920s, two brothers grew up and worked in the laundry shop owned by their mother in the 1920s. They started in business together with a shared idea which created the marketing of clothing exclusively for sporting activities. In the 1930s they equipped Jesse Owens for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin [a story in itself]. But the brothers rarely agreed over anything, and sibling rivalry must have contributed to the split into two firms, still operating in close proximity in a little township in Bavaria.

Whatever, the story tells of a feud during the 1939-45 war which was to split family and employees in the little village of Herzogenaurach for decades afterwards. Today, the old rivalries are mostly muted and symbolic. The Day of Peace celebrations confirmed existing practical realities of life in the township.

Branding wars

As Reuters reported [May 2013]

Adidas is the long-standing kit supplier to Bayern and owns a stake of around nine per cent in the Bavarian club, while Puma became the sportswear partner of Dortmund a year ago.
However, while Adidas and U.S. rival Nike dominate a football market estimated to be worth up to 4.5 billion euros, Puma is playing catch-up after years of focusing more on fashion than performance sportswear.

Its decision to partner with Dortmund yielded an instant return when the club made it to the Champions League final – the biggest prize in European club football and [attracted] a global television audience of over 150 million …[According to reports in the English media ]Puma are set to agree a deal worth more than 30 million pounds a year to provide the kit for English Premier League club Arsenal, replacing Nike.


Bookie Fred Done has paid out on bets on Manchester United to win the Premier League title. Why?

April 4, 2012

Bookmakers are not known for their charitable gestures. So it’s worth thinking why Betfair owner Fred Done decided to pay out £500,000 to punters who backed Manchester United to win the Premier League again this year, when there were still seven games to be played

Update

Within one game to play, Manchester City were installed as firm favourites…the following suggests an explanation for Fred’s actions.

Original Post

Manchester United fan Fred Done paid up a similar sum in 1998 when United was leading Arsenal by 12 points. The Gunners went on to win the title.

Fred, a long-time United supporter may had been rewarding other faithful fans for backing their team.

On the other hand

Bookies, like scientists, don’t believe in absolute certainties. But they tend to be good at creating marketing opportunities. Fred has converted a near-certain loss of money (which has already been hedged) to a headline in the sports pages drawing attention to his business.

Creative marketing?

It’s why Paddy Power, another book-maker, is offering to refund all bets on other golfers, if Tiger Woods wins the Masters in Augusta, this weekend [April 2012].

You might call both actions creative marketing.