'World War Shoe': David Beckham producing documentary about feud between Adidas and Puma founders

Adi and Rudi Dassler ran a successful sports shoe company before setting up rival companies after a bitter row

David Beckham will produce a three-part docuseries about the siblings behind sportswear giants Puma and Adidas. Getty Images
David Beckham will produce a three-part docuseries about the siblings behind sportswear giants Puma and Adidas. Getty Images

He's a whizz on the pitch, but David Beckham also looks to be flexing his talents in another field.

The former professional footballer is set to produce a documentary series about the warring founders between two rival sportswear giants.

Beckham and his production company, Studio 99, have signed up to work on World War Shoe, a three-part mini series about Adi and Rudi Dassler.

The German brothers, who originally owned a sports shoe company started by Adi, went their separate ways after a feud during the Second World War, setting up competing brand Adidas and Puma in 1948.

A sculpture of Adidas founder Adi Dassler in an Adidas store in New York City in 2016. Wikicommons
A sculpture of Adidas founder Adi Dassler in an Adidas store in New York City in 2016. Wikicommons

The documentary, created with Boat Rocker Studios, Unscripted and Matador Content, will follow the brothers' partnership before they devolved into lifelong enemies.

Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik, the brothers' original footwear company, actually kitted out gold medallist Jesse Owens with the track shoes he wore at the 1936 Olympics.

Tensions between Adidas and Puma, which were founded in the same German town of Herzogenaurach, continued for years, with employees of the brothers' original shoe company tasked with deciding whether they would follow Adi or Rudi to their new firms.

Philip Boatswain will direct the docuseries about the Dasslers, Deadline reports.

“We’re excited to work with David, Philip, Lisa, and everyone at Studio 99 to bring the incredible story of the brothers behind two of the biggest brands in the world to the screen,” said Jay Peterson, co-founder of Matador Content, and Todd Lubin, the company's president. “We promise you’ll never look at your sneakers the same way again.”

Beckham founded Studio 99 in 2019 with his long-term manager David Gardner and Nicola Howson.

That year, he announced he would partner with Uninterrupted, the media company co-founded by basketball star LeBron James, to produce a documentary series about Inter Miami CF, a US soccer expansion team which Beckham co-owns.

Published: February 12, 2021 02:58 PM

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