It was a historic game against an unusual backdrop: Under the leadership of the two chief executives Herbert Hainer (midfielder) and Jochen Zeitz (goalkeeper), employees of both adidas and PUMA played football together and against each other on Monday, Global Peace Day, in Herzogenaurach. With the support of 700 employees of both groups, the “Black” team of the two CEOs beat the “White” team 7:5 in a fascinating game. In support of the peace initiative PEACE ONE DAY the two sportswear companies sent a fun and unique signal of amicable cooperation.
Both teams, which were made up of 40 employees of both competitors as well as a few local journalists, demonstrated their support for PEACE ONE DAY on the premises of the adidas headquarters and proved that sport can help overcome boundaries and promote a peaceful cohabitation.
„Our joint football match in support of PEACE ONE DAY and Global Peace Day was a unique experience for the participating players and our employees. It showed that everyone – and companies as well – can make their contribution to peace,” said the two Chief Executives Jochen Zeitz and Herbert Hainer. “The symbolic handshake of adidas and PUMA helped to raise awareness for Global Peace Day and the necessity for non-violence and ceasefire.”
Particularly for this memorable football game, adidas and PUMA had created a football kit in black and white that sported adidas’ three stipe logo as well as PUMA’s leaping cat. The kit is part of a limited collection of 80 pieces, that will be auctioned for PEACE ONE DAY.
Football celebrity Alexander Hleb, player of German premier league club VfB Stuttgart and captain of the Belarus national team, supported the initiative by signing autographs and giving PEACE ONE DAY footballs to the fans onsite.
Following the match adidas and PUMA employees went together to PUMA’s Brand Center in Nuremberg to watch the movie „The Day after Peace“ by British actor and director Jeremy Gilley.
Last weekend, both companies had already taken the message and idea of PEACE ONE DAY into the football stadiums of Munich and Stuttgart. During the halftimes of the German premier league games FC Bayern Munich – 1. FC Nuremberg and VfB Stuttgart – 1. FC Cologne adidas and PUMA employees took part in a penalty shoot out with former premier league goalkeeper Walter Junghans and shared PEACE ONE DAY balls with the fans.
The companies adidas and PUMA were founded by the brothers Rudolf and Adi Dassler in the 1940s. Until they separated and went their own ways, they both owned a factory called “Gebrüder Dassler Sportschuhfabrik” where they together manufactured sports shoes – quite successfully as the world records of Jesse Owens proved. In the last decades, adidas and PUMA became worldwide leading brands. Both companies are still based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.