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Forever Faster from day one

PUMA History

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The Beginnings

A first step in a long history driven by speed and performance: The brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler founded the company “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory) in their hometown Herzogenaurach, Germany. Unbeknownst to them, they placed the founding stone of the world capital of sports shoes.

Within the town, they're not the only shoe factory. 50 to 60 small factories are scattered throughout the town, though many did not manage to survive past the 1950s and 60s. The brothers started their factory in their parents' home in 1924, moving into its proper facility in 1927.

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Within the first few years, both gain notoriety. A majority of German athletes wear Dassler spikes at the Olympic Summer Games in Amsterdam, 1928. In 1936, Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Olympic Games in Berlin, all while sporting Dassler spikes. More medals soon followed: seven gold and five bronze medals, all for world class athletes wearing Dassler shoes. The first records are smashed as well: two World and five Olympic records. It’s their breakthrough.

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1948

The First Run

24 years after their founding, the Dassler brothers separated over an argument. Rudolf Dassler goes on, founding PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler and with the PUMA ATOM, kicks off a long line of success.

Despite having to start anew, PUMA’s success is undaunted. Our first football boot, the “ATOM”, is launched successfully and several athletes are convinced by its performance. Several members of the West Germany national team wear them in the first post-war football match against Switzerland in 1950. Among the players: Herbert Burdenski, the man who scored the first post-war goal that won the match. For PUMA, this is just the first in a long row of successes.

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MR. PUMA Helmut Fischer
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Rudolf Dassler moved into another building belonging to the family with 13 of his employees, transforming the storage facility into a factory. This is where PUMA has its headquarters till this day since its official registration date on October 1, 1948 as PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler.

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Herzogenaurach has been a shoe makers town since the middle ages. And over the years it has developed into the world's sport shoe capital.

Mr. PUMA Helmut Fischer

1950-1959

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1952

Innovating Football

The launch of PUMA’s SUPER ATOM in 1952 creates a stir. Rudolf Dassler collaborates with experts, such as West Germany’s national coach Sepp Herberger to develop the world’s first boot with screw-in studs. For PUMA, beside a successful product launch, it marks the beginning of our football heritage.

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1953

Pushing Forward

The next in line for PUMA's success in football boots hits the starting line: PUMA BRASIL. Even though Forever Faster hasn’t been put into words yet back then, it was already our spirit. Despite the success of the previous year, PUMA releases the next shoe. The enhanced successor of the screw-in football boot SUPER ATOM makes its way onto the market: BRASIL enters development and testing.

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1954

Growing Heritage

PUMA BRASIL shoes score just as successfully as their predecessor. After equipping a majority of the German Bundesliga team Hannover 96, the team wins the German league in May 1954, beating the favored FC Kaiserslautern in the final. We celebrate our shared success with the advertisement campaign “So war es in Hamburg”.

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It’s also the year that the first PUMA running shoes play a part in the breaking of a world record. Heinz Fütterer breaks the 100m world record in Yokohama, Japan, while wearing PUMA running shoes. In typical PUMA athlete fashion, he adds to the success four years later, when he set the world record in the 4x100m relay. For the young Rudolf Dassler, it's all a huge success.

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1957

Birth of an Icon

It’s the year when the first elements of PUMA’s logo take shape. Rudolf Dassler introduces the unmistakable sans-serif PUMA typeface along with an image logo.

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1958

Elemental Design 

Just a year later, the second brand logo is patented: the "formstrip", originally created to stabilize the foot inside the shoe, is now a typical PUMA trademark found on almost all PUMA shoes and is used as a design element on our apparel products. And it's just on time too. 

With Brazil taking home the cup during the Football World Championship, PUMA is equally in public focus. It's a victory of equal measure for us, as PUMA football boots are the only German-made football boots in the final. PUMA celebrates the victory of the Brazilian team with an advertising campaign.

1960-1969

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1960

Creating Bonds

It's the year of new manufacturing techniques for golden performances, as proven during the Olympic Games in Rome.

Together with our partner Armin Hary, we continue our track and field success story. During the Olympic Games in Rome, Hary wins gold in the 100m competition.

In the same year, we push innovation as the first sports shoe manufacturer to use the technologically advanced vulcanization production technique. The result in our products is the bonding of sole and shaft of the boot. For our athletes, this means greater support in achieving top performances.

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1962

Run for the Cup

PUMA is along for the ride when Brazil kicks its way to the World Cup with a budding football legend. Together with the Brazilian team, Pelé wins the World Cup in Chile. Once more, PUMA boots supported him throughout the game.

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1964

Triple Scorers

Triple gold for PUMA during the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Together with Belgium's Gaston Roelants (3.000m steeplechase), Great Britain's Mary Rand (long jump) and Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila (marathon), PUMA shoes achieve a spot on the podium.

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1966

A Striking KING

Top scorers score great rewards. We honor our athletes in our own way.

Portuguese striker sensation Eusebio achieves the top scorer title of the 1966 World Cup in England while wearing PUMA football boots.

Honoring this accomplishment and Eusebio's continued fantastic form, PUMA introduces the legendary KING boot in 1968.

1967

A First Leap

The cat as we know it today takes a leap. Nuremberg cartoonist Lutz Backes creates our memorable trademark and one of the most famous trademarks worldwide. Reflecting that, the PUMA product range is extended to also include sportswear, and the logo begins to appear more frequently on PUMA products such as performance apparel and bags.

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1968

Rising up

With the Sacramento brush spike, PUMA enables numerous American athletes. The innovative brush soles have 68 small, only 4mm long bristles in the front area of the foot. Just a few weeks prior to the games in Mexico, new world records are set by the athletes sporting them. A short-lived triumph, as the shoe is deemed "too dangerous" and banned by the association. All athletes wearing the shoe have their world records withdrawn – a fact that has not been rectified till this day.

Still, we saw history in the making. Tommie Smith, Lee Evans (400m, 4x400m), Willie Davenport (110m high hurdles) and Bob Seagren (pole-vault) win gold while wearing similar PUMA spikes. PUMA athlete Tommie Smith also wins gold in the 200m in our spikes and causes a stir: he and his teammate John Carlos (bronze) raise their fists in the Black Power salute, protesting discrimination of African Americans and other minorities in the USA, apartheid, and racism.

1970-1979

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1970

Fit for a KING

PUMA's aim was to always sign the top-notch superstars playing in PUMAs. Pelé has long been a member of the team and he wore the new PUMA KING boots with success.

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Pelé is crowned “Player of the Tournament” while wearing PUMA KING boots. For him and the Brazilian team, it's the country’s third World Cup title. Thirty years after this triumph, Pelé is officially honored as “Football Player of the Century”. No wonder – nothing could kick him out of his boots.

With the PUMA KING from 1970, we created another revolutionary product. Its flat structure made it lighter, while kangaroo leather is used for the very first time in order to increase softness and comfort.

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I had the luck to spend the week on sales tour with Pelé, so I got to know him a little - that guy always kept his cool.

Mr PUMA Helmut Fischer
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1972

Golden Times

PUMA-partnered athletes Mary Peters, Great Britain (pentathlon), John Akii-Bua, Uganda (400m hurdles), Randy Williams, USA (long jump) and Klaus Wolfermann, West-Germany (javelin) all win gold medals at the Olympic Games in Munich.

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1973

Iconic Style

Basketball’s Walt “Clyde” Frazier makes a name for himself on the court by stealing the ball from his opponents. Off the court with his signature colorful style. So, when he asked for a custom-made pair of Suedes, we were game. PUMA reconfigured the original, making it lighter and wider, and stamped his moniker on the side – the PUMA Clyde is born. Frazier's iconic Clyde combination: alternating formstrips, fedoras and long sideburns.

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1974

The True Stripes

The Dutch national team sports the orange jerseys featuring three stripes of a different supplier – all but one. Team captain Johan Cruyff dominates the field of the final match in a custom-made PUMA kit and shoes, feeling so connected to us that he couldn't play in anything else. The custom jersey and shorts bear only two stripes. He writes football history and bags the "Player of the Tournament", and "European Footballer of the Year" title the second time in a row.

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1977

A Cat in Court

PUMA tennis shoes are Guillermo Vilas' constant companion on his winning streak around the world. He wins the French, the US and the Australian open, proving that PUMA has also established a reputation as a supplier of top tennis athletes.

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1979

Enter No. 1

The world famous "No. 1 Logo" gets in position: The puma takes its leap across the upper right corner of the word logo. Only minor changes have been made over the years:  the eye and nuzzle are gone and the ears are more pronounced today.

1980-1989

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1982

Football's Golden Boy

It's the first football World Cup tournament for the PUMA TORERO boot and for the now legendary Diego Maradona.

Diego Armando Maradona of Argentina plays his first World Cup tournament wearing the new PUMA TORERO boot. The TORERO, an invention by company founder Rudolf Dassler’s son Armin, is equipped with a highly flexible DUOFLEX sole with two joint zones.

1984

Enter PUMA

During the ceremony of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the German Olympic team enters dressed in PUMA. Meanwhile, US athlete Evelyn Ashford wins two Gold medals (100 meters / 4x100 meters) in PUMA spikes, running one of the fastest times and beating her opponents by an impressive 1.12 seconds.

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1985

Acing the Game

Tennis becomes an all-time popular sports and PUMA is right in the middle of it. With two successful contracted players and a pair of shoes that up the notch of the game.

The 80’s are dominated by the tennis boom, triggered by the then 17-year-old Boris Becker and his spectacular victory in Wimbledon in 1985. For Becker, it's a whole serving of firsts: the youngest, first unseeded, first German player, and the first to adopt a mid-top shoe. Constant companions: PUMA shoes and a PUMA racket. He works closely with PUMA to develop his signature shoes, which prevents ankle turning, therefore encouraging more risk-taking on the court.

Also a member of the tennis roster: the most successful tennis player of her time. Martina Navrátilová, contracted from 1984 to 1987.

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1986

Success in Stock

In the world of football, one player dominates the headlines: four years after his first World Cup appearance in Spain, Diego Armando Maradona goes down in history with his second goal in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Mexico against England. He passes six players, touches the ball eleven times and scores the “Goal of the Century”. He is awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player and leads Argentina to its second World Cup title after 1978. Maradona played every minute of every game – and he had played them in KINGs.

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The company goes public as PUMA AG and the PUMA stock is traded on the Munich and Frankfurt stock exchanges. Armin Dassler, PUMA CEO and son of the company founder Rudolf Dassler, celebrates this moment with his colleagues from the PUMA board.

1990-1999

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1990

KING Cup

PUMA KING player Lothar Matthäus leads Germany to the country’s World Cup title in Italy. The captain of the national team is also voted “European Footballer of the Year”, “World Footballer of the Year” and “World Athlete”.

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1991

Twist 'n' Fit

Faster lacing on faster shoes. PUMA launches the game-changing PUMA Disc technology on our Trinomic running shoe.

PUMA’s Trinomic technology first takes shape in the running arena in 1989. It features clear rubber hexagon cells which collapse and expand to provide cushioning, flexibility, and stability.

The Trinomic family features many gamechangers, including the PUMA Disc. Launched in 1991, the Disc is the first laceless sports shoe with a system of internal wires that tighten the upper for a perfect fit.

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1992

Triple Gold

At the Barcelona Olympics, Heike Drechsler (long jump), Dieter Baumann (5.000m), both German, and Great Britain’s Linford Christie (100m) all clinch Gold medals wearing PUMA spikes.

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1993

Determined Confidence

Jochen Zeitz is appointed CEO at the age of 30, becoming the youngest chairman in German history to head a public company. Zeitz spearheads the restructuring of PUMA, in financial difficulties at the time, and manages to turn it from a low-price brand into the premium sport-lifestyle company and one of the top three brands in the sporting goods industry it is today.

At the Track and Field World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany’s Heike Drechsler, Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey, Linford Christie and Colin Jackson (both UK) – PUMA’s Fantastic Four – all win Gold medals.

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1996

Eyes of a Cat

Linford Christie proves at a press conference prior to the Olympic Games in Atlanta that he's a true PUMA athlete. He appears wearing contact lenses that overlay his pupils with the PUMA cat, displaying his spirit for all to see. Our contact lens campaign later becomes a symbol for innovative marketing, not only in the sports industry but far beyond.

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1998

Athletic Fashion

As the first sports brand, PUMA merges sports and fashion through a cooperation with star designer Jil Sander. Lifestyle versions of the KING and the running shoe Easy Rider are launched in close collaboration and become desired fashion sneakers. They combine PUMA’s authenticity and performance credibility with Jil Sander’s classic style.

Meanwhile, we sign on Serena Williams. Just a year later, she wins her first Grand Slam Tournament, the US Open. PUMA's cooperation with Serena doesn't end there. In 2002, PUMA and Serena Williams unveil the “Serena Williams Tennis Collection”. In the same year, we cause a stir worldwide with her skintight “Catsuit”, and she wins at Wimbledon, ranking as number one in the world for the first time in her career.

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1999

Step up in Style

With the Mostro, PUMA initiated one of the largest trends of the last decades.

The fusion of sports and lifestyle. The PUMA Mostro with its typical touch fastener and spike sole is a combination of two shoes – the Sprintspike from 1968 and a surfing shoe from the 80s. The result is a brand new and unprecedented lifestyle shoe which is quickly picked up by fashion icons like Madonna. In 2002, she wears a pair of PUMA Mostro shoes throughout her entire tour and sets a global trend.

2000-2009

2001

Speeding up Fashion

PUMA Speedcat represents our long-standing competence in motorsports. Its design originated from 1998, when the fireproof version was created for Formula One pilots. Its innovative and elegant low-profile look, emphasized by its characteristic stitched cat logo, quickly turn the Speedcat into a fashion classic  look.

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2002

At Full Blast

Our PUMA players display our shared confidence, whether it is in their playstyle or by wearing innovative – and controversial – PUMA gear.

Out on the field, PUMA’s new CELLERATOR football boot, SHUDOH is launched. At the Korea/Japan World Cup, PUMA player El Hadji Diouf is selected for the FIFA World Cup™ All Star Team, and Korea’s Jung Hwan Ahn impresses the world by kicking out Italy with a Golden Goal and securing a spot in the semi-finals for the host country.

In the same year, PUMA partnered Cameroon National Team shakes up the Africa Cup of Nations with previously unseen sleeveless kits and takes the 2002 Africa Cup home to Yaoundé.

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2004

Teamplay

It's a year in which PUMA stands together with our partners, through success and through opposition.

PUMA and Ferrari announce our multi-year contract making us the official supplier of Scuderia Ferrari, the most successful Formula One team of all times. The partnership with Ferrari also allows PUMA to develop licensed Ferrari footwear, apparel and accessories for global distribution, combining our strengths to provide even faster products.

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Meanwhile, the Cameroon National Team follow up on their 2002 controversial sleeveless kits with the even more daring one-piece PUMA UniQT gear. For PUMA, the development of the kits happened with fair play in mind. FIFA however punishes the Indomitable Lions by revoking six points in the 2006 World Cup qualification and imposing a fine. As team players, PUMA throws in our support for Cameroon. The legal dispute ends with a compromise and a shared donation to a football development project in the teams' home country.

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2006

High Score

Just in time for the World Cup, PUMA announces our next product innovation: The SPEED BOOT V1.06 is the world’s lightest football boot at the time, weighing barely 200g. With 12 out of 32 supplied teams, the boots rack up a lot of running time. PUMA is the biggest team supplier at the Football World Cup – and for the first time in company history, a PUMA-sponsored national team wins the World Cup: On July 9th, Italy beats France 5:3 after penalty shoot outs in Berlin and is crowned World Cup Champion for the fourth time.

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2008

Forever Faster and Further

PUMA proves that challenges are meant to be taken as we set sail for the first time by entering our own sailing yacht Il Mostro into one of the longest and most difficult sailing races in the world – the Volvo Ocean Race. The race, known as the “Everest of Sailing”, is a 37,000 nautical mile (68,524 km) around the world adventure and is one of the world’s toughest sporting events.

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On land at the Beijing Olympics, PUMA athlete Usain Bolt – the World’s Fastest Man – sets a 100m world record at 9.69 seconds and sprints 200m in a world record time of 19.30 seconds, beating Michael Johnson’s 1996 record by two hundredths of a second. He wins his third gold medal as Jamaica shatters the world record at 4 x 100m relay in 37.10 seconds, taking 0.30 off the USA’s mark which was set 15 years prior to that.

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2009

On a Run

Just a year after his amazing success at the Beijing Olympics, Usain Bolt ups the ante with a new record.

PUMA athlete Usain “Lightning” Bolt breaks his own 100m world record with an amazing time of 9.58 seconds at the World Championships in Athletics in Berlin. He also smashes his 200m world record from 2008 to become the World Champion in 19.19 seconds. In a reprise of their 2008 success, the Jamaican team comes in first in the 4x100 relay, and Usain adds another gold medal and World Championship title to his track record.

2010-today

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2010

Better Together

PUMA sponsors seven football federations at the FIFA World Cup™ 2010 in South Africa, including the African Teams Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Algeria, alongside Italy, Switzerland and Uruguay. We unveil the world’s first continental football kit, the Africa Unity Kit endorsed by all PUMA-sponsored African teams and used as third kit by our partners in a show of continental unity.

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As a brand, PUMA grows with the acquisition of the golf equipment brand Cobra Golf, which is fully integrated into the PUMA Group as COBRA PUMA GOLF. This enables us to provide a complete range of golfing products to the consumer and to become an important player in the golf sector. With this strength, we sign on Rickie Fowler. Since he became the 2010 PGA Rookie of the Year, Rickie has become a name synonymous with Sunday orange, quick-to-act playing tactics, and the next generation of golf. He has a proven knack for firsts: He is the first motocross racer turned pro golfer as well as the first rookie picked for the Ryder Cup team.

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2011

Evolving

We begin to trade under the name of PUMA SE. With the completion of the transformation, Franz Koch becomes Chief Executive Officer and succeeds Jochen Zeitz after 18 years as Chairman and CEO of PUMA AG.

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True to our roots in football, PUMA adds German Bundesliga Champion, Borussia Dortmund, to our football portfolio. BVB makes it to the Champions League final in the first season of the partnership, headed by their charismatic coach, PUMA partner Jürgen Klopp and with the talent of PUMA star Marco Reus.

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2012

Living Legend

At the Olympics in London, PUMA-outfitted track and field athletes win 19 medals, of which the Jamaican team alone collects twelve.

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Usain Bolt, who finishes his second successive Olympics with three gold medals, proves his undisputed status as a sporting legend in true PUMA fashion by becoming the first man ever to defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic titles.

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2013

Captaining the Team

As of 1 July 2013, the Administrative Board of PUMA SE appoints Norwegian Bjørn Gulden as new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The former football professional brings to PUMA an extensive international experience of nearly 20 years in the sporting goods and footwear industry, where he held a variety of management positions.

On the field, we sign International Icon Mario Balotelli. The Italian striker becomes the latest sporting sensation to join PUMA’s family of star players and athletes that include Usain Bolt, Sergio Agüero, Cesc Fàbregas, Marco Reus, Radamel Falcao and Rickie Fowler.

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2014

Better Kicks

PUMA teams up with Arsenal Football Club and that's not all that's happening on the field. We introduce our most powerful football boot evoPOWER and it becomes an eye-catcher during the World Cup in Brazil.

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EvoPower

Inspired by the freedom of movement of barefoot kicking, evoPOWER features the most advanced PUMA technologies to date and is designed to enhance a player's natural kicking ability, as well as power and accuracy when striking the ball.

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil proves to be a fantastic stage for our innovative football products: Both, the eight different National Team shirts featuring PUMA’s apparel innovation PWR ACTV, as well as PUMA’s colorful pink and blue interpretation of our revolutionary evoPOWER and evoSPEED football boots Tricks – spotted in 72% of all games – are eye-catchers and create lots of positive headlines.

In addition, PUMA and Arsenal Football Club announce a long-term partnership, effective 1 July 2014. We acquired wide-ranging licensing rights to develop Arsenal branded merchandise on a global basis. It represents the biggest deal in both PUMA’s and Arsenal’s history.

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2015

Diverse Roster

Rihanna becomes PUMA’s global ambassador for Women’s Training and provides her input as the PUMA Women’s Creative Director, where she directly influences product collections. Her contribution includes the design and customization of classic PUMA styles, and the creation of new product lines. Her style and work fully embrace PUMA's Forever Faster mentality and spirit, while adding her own twist.

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2015 announces another successful team-up: The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and PUMA enter a new comprehensive partnership that will see us operate as the FIGC’s lead partner all the way into the next decade. In addition to being the official supplier, PUMA has extended and increased our marketing rights as well as retaining the exclusive Master License to actively manage the entire global licensing portfolio of FIGC assets.

PUMA's vision also includes an eyewear partnership agreement for optical frames and sunglasses with Kering Eyewear, fully effective January 2016. The license agreement with Charmant terminates at the same time.

PUMA sells Tretorn Group including trademark rights, patents and designs.

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2016

HatTrick

The UEFA Euro 2016 in France proves to be a great stage to prove why we're an innovative and design-driven sports brand. With an on-field presence of almost 40% across all matches, PUMA’s five participating partner teams secure a strong visibility with their kits featuring our ACTV Thermo-R apparel technology. To top it off, France's Antoine Griezmann was voted "Player of the Tournament" by the UEFA after being the top scorer with six goals, all shot in his bi-colored PUMA Tricks boots.

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On the race track, we switch up gears as outfitter for RED BULL RACING Formula One team, supplying performance racewear, footwear and teamwear created from our long experience in motorsport.

In time for the Summer Games, PUMA signs a partnership with the Athletics Association of Barbados (AAB). One of the most celebrated athletes is Jamaican sprinter and PUMA athlete Usain Bolt, who for the third time in a row won Gold medals in all three of his disciplines, achieving a “Triple-Triple” in 100m sprint, 200m sprint and 4x100m relay with his team. This third success extends his record-breaking personal haul of IAAF World Championships gold medals to 11. The stellar performances of the Jamaican Team, which finished second in the medals table, as well as the performances of the other PUMA teams including the Bahamas, Cuba, Grenada, Cayman Islands, Switzerland and the Dominican Republic, secure a strong brand visibility of PUMA throughout the competition.

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2017

2017 was a success story for PUMA – both in sports and business. For the first time in the company’s history we achieved sales of more than four billion euro, while PUMA teams and athletes celebrated major victories all over the globe.

In football, our partnered teams grabbed some of the world’s biggest trophies at the end of the 2016/17 football season: Borussia Dortmund snatched the German DFB Cup, while Arsenal FC claimed the FA Cup and Mexico’s Chivas won the 2017 Liga MX Clausura title.

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The IAAF World Championships in London not only mark the end of Usain Bolt’s unparalleled career but also give other PUMA athletes a chance to shine, including Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, who wins gold in the 800 meters.

PUMA announces its long-term partnership with American singer, actress and producer Selena Gomez. More than just a brand ambassador, she helps PUMA further enhance its Women’s segment.

PUMA headquarters in Herzogenaurach celebrate the opening of the new 85-meter-long PUMA BRIDGE with a memorable inauguration ceremony in the presence of Lothar Matthäus and Merlene Ottey.