The New Puma
Puma was for a time in decline. A revival around the turn of the century brought new hopes to the ailing company but the revival did not last for long. Midway through the first decade of the 21st century new problems emerged.
Eventually the family owing the company sold out and a French conglomaration in the industry of luxury goods acquired the company. A new turn around was devised this around by investing more into product development as well as in marketing.
A lucky turn of events paired Puma with a re-juvenated and successful Borussia Dortmund. Puma took over after Nike and Kappa had been their sponsor for an extended period of time and this coincided with the Bundesliga titles in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons.
On the 27th of January it was announced that Puma will become the new athletic apparel sponsor for Arsenal starting out in July of 2014. This will be the most expensive deal of its’ kind in the English Premier League and Puma managed to beat Nike as well as Adidas to the finish line for Arsenal.
One of the main motivations of Arsenal might have been vanity. There is no doubt that Manchester United is by far the most important club in England to Nike. Arsenal will now be the top team for Puma not just in England but globally. Much like the Italian national team which hoovers high above any other team in the Puma universe of national teams.
But this is not where it ends. Puma has realized that in order to be successful they need not just good teams and great products. They also need individuals. Star players performing above the rest on and off the field.
Therefore Puma has signed on a number of high profile players over the course of the past 1-2 years.
Aguero, Fabregas, Yaya Toure, Falcao, and Reus.
Latest new Puma endorser Mario Balotelli.
The rumours even go that Puma is trying to bring the Italian (super?) star to Arsenal so as to re-enforce the Puma brand through a player who is equipped by Puma with Italia, and potentially Arsenal while at the same time wearing the Puma footwear brand.
Clearly a page from the playbook of Nike and Adidas where it is probably no coincidence that Neymar ends up in FC Barcelona and that David Beckham ended up in Real Madrid and later on in LA Galaxy.
Of course Nike and Adidas cannot determine the faith of their endorsers entirely but at least they can play their part in order to reenforce their brand through the integration of player and team.
Now it is Puma’s turn to try to orchestra such a setup and to try to turn Balotelli into not just a star but a Super Star with global appeal.