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It is hard to pin down the exact reason the two brothers would become lifelong enemies. According to one popular story, Rudolf convinced Adi that they should both file enlistment forms. However, Adi sent his form off, while Rudolf held his form back, which was later found by cleaning woman unposted. The strange thing was that Rudolf was the one drafted and Adi was ordered back to the factory to start building materials for the war effort. World War II ravaged the company and after the war Rudolf was captured by the Americans for being a Nazi, which Adi had joined the Nazi party at the same time as his brother. Rudolf was sure that Adi could get him out of jail. For 12 months Rudolf was held by the Americans and grew more angry at Adi for not persuading the Americans to free him sooner. According to Adi, “I had done all I could to free Rudolf, but the Americans would not let him go.”

Even with the disagreements, Adi and Rudolf tried to reorganize the company, but by 1948, the anger within both had them separating. Adi would reform the company and rename it using his nickname “Adi” and the first three letters of his last name “Das” to form Adidas. Rudolf would move across the river and form a competing company, which later he would name Puma.

This began a rivalry that continues today. Even though their hometown would be divided, the clear winner of the rivalry was Adi. By 1949, Adidas was producing the first rubber spiked athletic shoes, while Puma was sticking with the older spikes. In 1954, the German football team decided to wear Adidas shoes over Puma and went on to win the World Cup. This propelled Adidas back into the world market. Soon after the win, Adidas began selling more than 200,000 pair of athletic shoes a year and Puma was left behind.

During the period between 1949 and 1954, Adi had searched for a logo that would define his company and make his shoes recognizable from afar. He found it when he designed a shoe with three strips of leather on both sides so the runners would have more support for the arch of their feet. These three strips were intended to help the runner and provide more stability to the feet, but became one of the most recognizable symbol in the world.

The company was on a roll through the 1950s and in 1960, Adi decided to introduce a line of sportswear to compliment his now famous three strip footwear. That same year at the Olympics in Rome, more than 75 percent of the athletes competing in the games wore Adidas athletic shoes to compete.

Adidas would go on to produce other sports goods and eventually lead the world in the sporting goods industry. Today, Adidas is worth more than $8.3 billion, according to the most recent financial reports.
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