David Beckham
Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

In the world of football (aka soccer) the brand logos on the teams’ kits are as closely spectated, as is the scoreboard. Through the decades, the world’s largest sportswear brands have come to signify a nostalgia that is inextricable from the belle epoque of our favourite teams; Be it Adidas for Boca Juniors in the 1980s during the golden reign of Maradona, Fila for Fiorentina during the dominance of Batistuta, or Kappa during Ronaldo’s Christ-like decent onto the pitch at Barcelona in the 90s.

Though today, Nike stakes more of a claim towards football players and teams alike, prior to that, football was the kingdom of the biggest OG companies: Adidas and Puma.

Now, David Beckham is set to produce a documentary series about the decades-long feud between these two brands and the brothers who founded them.

World War Shoe will be released in three parts and is likely to cover the many theories as to why the brothers fell out so spectacularly. Rudolph and Adolf Dassler put their heads together in 1919 and co-founded their brand Gebrüder Dassler (shortened to Geda). Mysteriously, in 1948 the brothers closed the brand and parted ways before founding their own separate companies, Puma and Adidas. The brands left an indelible mark on the cityscape of their hometown, Herzogenaurach, where headquarters remain today. The town is separated by a river which parts the two companies, and the townspeople are religiously dedicated to either Adidas or Puma, usually denoted by their family lineage – everyone is a descendant of the Dassler’s.

The title, World War Shoe, may be derived from the second world war which marked the beginning of the end for the brother’s close relationship, but not for their business-savvy cunning.

Beckham and his close friend and manager David Gardner’s production company Studio 99 will bring this project to our screens along with Matador Content, the company behind Billie Eilish’s Apple TV+ documentary The World’s A Little Blurry. Co-founder Jay Peterson said, “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. We promise you’ll never look at your sneakers the same way again.”

Nicola Howson of Studio 99 said, “This is a dramatic and compelling tale. It’s not often you find an untold story which will resonate with so many people globally.”

Adolph and Rudolph Dassler were buried at opposite ends of the same cemetery, we can only hope to find out why. An official release date for the documentary is yet to be announced.

thoughts?