It was an historic hand-shake: In support of the peace initiative, Peace One Day, sportswear giants Adidas and Puma shook hands for the first time after six decades. As a sign of amicable cooperation, employees of both companies played football together on Peace Day, September 21, and subsequently watched the movie “The Day after Peace” by Jeremy Gilley, director and founder of Peace One Day. Adidas and Puma also took the message and idea of Peace One Day to the football stadiums of Munich and Stuttgart appearing during the half-times of the German premier league games FC Bayern Munich - 1. FC Nuremberg and VfB Stuttgart - 1. FC Köln on Sept. 19.

“We at Adidas are very proud to support Peace One Day together with Puma. We firmly believe that sport can bring the world together. Sport has shown this at countless occasions in the past and we are committed to the positive values found in sport: performance and passion, teamwork and fair play,” said Herbert Hainer, CEO of Adidas AG. “I hope that our joint initiative helps to raise further awareness for Peace One Day around the world.”

Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of Puma, said: “We are uniting on this day as a commitment to Peace Day. Our common goal being that our collaboration will help create awareness for the day. Kofi Anan once said that ‘individuals can make a difference and collectively we can make a major contribution.’ I believe that is the case also for companies. And our unity, in support of Peace Day, is a small step in a positive direction as well as an expression of the united power of sport in a world which we are all responsible for.”

Adidas and Puma were founded by the brothers Rudolf and Adi Dassler in the 1940s. Before, they co-owned a factory called Gebrueder Dassler Sportschuhfabrik, where they together manufactured sports shoes – quite successfully as the world records of Jesse Owens proved. Serious quarrels between the two brothers and their families led to their separation and the foundation of Puma and Adidas in Herzogenaurach, Germany. While the exact reasons for the split remain a secret of the families, the competitive tension between the companies had lasted until today.

—Regina Henkel