Adidas and Puma bury the hatchet for peace day

Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:46am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - More than 60 years after a feud between brothers Adi and Rudolf Dassler resulted in the creation of the Adidas and Puma sportswear rivalry, the two companies are making peace ... for one day.

A historic handshake between the chief executives of the two firms and a football match, which will see employees from both companies play on mixed teams, have been planned for Monday to celebrate International Peace Day, the companies said in a joint statement this week.

"We are uniting on this day as a commitment to Peace Day," Puma CEO and Chairman Jochen Zeitz said in the statement.

These are the first joint activities between the two companies, both based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, since the brothers left their original shared sports footwear firm in 1948 to found the two companies.

The joint initiative aims at raising awareness for the Peace One Day, an international day of peace initiatives supported by the United Nations.

Both sportswear and accessories firms will also take the message of peace into the football stadiums in Munich and Stuttgart through surprise highlights during the half times of two German premier league games on Sept 19.

"I am looking very much forward to our Adidas and Puma football match and I hope that our joint initiative helps to raise further awareness for Peace One Day around the world," Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato; editing by Patricia Reaney)