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Milestone: Tracing Puma’s 65 Years

Over its 65 years, Puma has combined athletic performance, fashion cred and a few famous faces to make sports lifestyle magic.

1948 — Rudolf Dassler splits from brother Adi Dassler to create a new brand, RuDa, later changed to Puma

1952 — Armin Dassler, son of Rudolf Dassler, joins the company

1957 — The name is patented in a san-serif typeface

1958 — The distinctive Formstrip is created to stabilize the foot in the shoe. It becomes the brand’s visual signature

1964 — Puma allies with distributor Beconta to bring product to the U.S. market

1968 — The Basket basketball shoe launches, as well as the Suede, made famous by hoops great Walt “Clyde” Frazier

Roma shoe debuts at the Mexico City Summer Games

The T7 Track Jacket, a track athlete staple that later catches on with B-boys and hip-hop stars, is introduced

1970 — Puma begins a relationship with soccer star Pelé

1974 — Rudolf Dassler passes away; Armin Dassler takes control of company

1979 — The relationship with Beconta ends and Puma USA affiliate is formed

1983 — Puma signs champion tennis player Martina Navratilova as a brand endorser

1984 — Tennis phenom Boris Becker inks a footwear and raquet endorsement deal

1985 — Frank Dassler, son of Armin Dassler, is appointed president of Puma USA

1986 — Company goes public and the stock begins trading on the Munich and Frankfurt stock exchanges

The RS 100, a top-of-the-line technical running trainer, is introduced

1989 — Puma USA is sold to then-COO Christopher (Toby) Smith and becomes a private company

1990 — Armin Dassler passes away

1991 — The brand introduces the high-tech Puma Disc System sports shoe

1993 —
Jochen Zeitz is named chairman and CEO, becoming, at the age of 30, the youngest chairman to head a public company in German history

1996 — The firm buys its licensee and establishes Puma North America Inc.

1997 — Jay Piccola joins Puma North America as president and GM

1998 — The brand begins a relationship with designer Jil Sander

1999 — The first retail store opens in Santa Monica, Calif.

Puma launches the Mostro, a double hook-and-loop closure lifestyle shoe that turns out to be a top seller

2000 —
Puma.com launches

2001 —
Line with Japanese designer Mihara Yasuhiro debuts

The firm acquires Swedish outdoor lifestyle brand Tretorn

2002 — Future “World’s Fastest Man” Usain Bolt signs on as an endorser

The company takes home Brand of the Year at the FN Achievement Awards

2006 —
Puma and Alexander McQueen launch first footwear collection for spring ’06

A new golf collection debuts with performance footwear, apparel and accessories

2007 —
French luxury goods company PPR (now Kering) acquires more than 60 percent of Puma shares

2008 — Hussein Chalayan is tapped as creative director

Usain Bolt sets new 100-meter world record at 9.69 seconds at Olympic Games

2009 — The brand signs golf pro Rickie Fowler

2010 — Puma North America acquires Cobra Golf to create Cobra Puma Golf, headquarterd in Carlsbad, Calif.

2011 — The brand rolls out its “Clever Little Bag” packaging, designed by Yves Behar to use less packaging and fewer raw materials than traditional shoeboxes

2011 — Franz Koch is named CEO of the firm; Jochen Zeitz becomes head of PPR’s sports and lifestyle division

2013 — Puma unveils its InCycle collection, an industry-first line of footwear, apparel and accessories that is completely recyclable and/or biodegradable

Björn Gulden joins as CEO, starting July 1

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