Puma and Jay-Z sign young stars. Look out Nike!
Puma’s are back on top of the shoe game in basketball! That’s a statement I didn’t ever think I would say. And I’m still not saying it. But, they are getting back into the shoe game in the NBA.
The last time the Puma shoe brand made any noise in basketball was when they signed Vince Carter over 20 years ago. That deal did work out so well, as Vince decided to take his talents to Nike. Puma hasn’t signed anyone in the sport since…until now.
Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagely III may not be house hold names. At least not yet. They probably won’t make you want to buy Pumas. At least not yet. This Thursday, both player will be drafted in the NBA draft, and both players will be picked in the top 5. Probably top 3. So what does that mean for Puma? That means that Puma is getting a jump on young talent and hoping that they turn into great players so they will have both under contract. Spending money of a prospect is a smart move considering Nike still owns the NBA in shoe deals. They have the big names such as Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis and Paul George. They also own the Jordan Brand who represents Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard. Nike may have the big names, but a lot of younger players have started to find other brands to market themselves.
Nike is Nike. Adidas is Adidas. I’ve played in their circuits and stuff like that, but now it’s a business. You don’t want just product. You’re not a kid anymore. You’re really trying to get bank. –Deandre Ayton.
The Jay-Z effect. According to Adam Petrick of ESPN, Jay-z and Puma came to an agreement for the Rap Mogul to become the “Creative Director” of global marketing and branding for Puma. This is huge for convincing young players to sign a deal, because Jay-Z is considered a god in the hip-hop/sports community. With millions of dollars sitting on the table, and your favorite rapper of all time convincing you to sign on the dotted line, it makes it almost impossible for a young kid to pass that up. Puma is trying to show athletes a different side of sports and business.
Puma might not be getting any big name athletes right now, but they are on the right track. I mean if Big Baller Brand can charge 600 dollars for a pair of shoes, with no superstar player, I’m sure Jay-Z can get people to start buying Pumas. Nike may still be the King of the NBA, but they are some upcoming shoe brands that are coming for the throne.
Information Source: ESPN.com
Main Photo Source: footwearnews.com