Book Review: Pitch Invasion


Pitch Invasion – Adidas, Puma and The Making of Modern Sport By Barbara Smit

Ok strictly speaking ¬†this book isn’t exclusively a football book but the telling of a family story. That family is the Dassler family. Two brothers grew up, had a company they ran together, before splitting up ¬†& owning their own companies. One Adi started Adidas, the other Rudolf started Puma!

The book is enthralling. It gives you facts & info, like how Adi was forced to make leather boots for the Nazi’s, How Adi started the revolutionary studs on football boots & it explains that Pele held up the 1970 World Cup Final by tying his shoe laces just so the TV cameras could get a close up of his Puma boots!

The family feud didn’t end with Adi (clearly the designer) & Rudolf (the better businessman) but there was also a feud between Adi & his eldest son Horst. Adi sent Horst to run Adidas France which with his somewhat dodgy dealings became almost as big as the original Adidas.

It also tells the story of how Adi was big friends with the German FA & manager Helmut Schon explaining the long term affiliation between the National football team & Adidas. How Horst started ISL to cover the World Cup sponsors, which recently went out of business but was always labelled as being corrupt.

The book is a fascinating insight into the world of sports business & also a look at how greed can tear a family up in several different ways.

It was extremely well written & superbly researched by the writer Barbara Smit. This is a must for any sports enthusiasts book collection.

2 Responses to “Book Review: Pitch Invasion”

  1. Thanks for this – it is on my list of things to read. Will buy it for my post-Christmas reading.

    Keep up the great work, buddy.


  2. You will enjoy it Rob.

    That was a great piece you did for STV Sport.

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