By: Camron Miller
Puma has re-launched its basketball line becoming the newest brand to enter the basketball shoe race in the current decade. With the signings of the first and second draft pick, Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley along with signing other fellow draft class members Michael Porter Jr. and Zaire Smith Puma looks to make a great run to compete with other fellow basketball shoe brands Nike, Jordan, Under Armour, and Adidas. The last time we saw Puma shoes on a basketball court was in 1998, when Vince Carter was one of the first athletes to be signed to the brand and was still a perennial superstar in the NBA so why have Puma decided to come back onto the basketball scene and take the league by surprise?
Puma adding Jay-Z as its new creative director for the basketball division might help to sign some more athletes who are not happy with their current shoe endorsement deals and want out immediately. Jay-Z had his hand in the basketball world before when he had part ownership of the New Jersey Nets (Brooklyn Nets). He has also done a lot for the culture that comes along with the sport in the current era. Jay-Z transported the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn and created a new logo and arena that had everybody’s attention which makes him a marketing genius that Puma has acquired.
Puma is really aiming for the younger crowd by signing young players to the brand. Seeing these rising NBA stars with Puma basketball shoes on their feet will help them compete with brands like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour who have superstars Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Stephen Curry to bolster their brands. Kids seeing these newly drafted rookies might go to footlocker and might see the Ayton I or Bagley or the MPJ’s and want to buy them. Kids are always buying the shoes of the players they want to imitate. It looks like Puma is putting all their money on the backs of these young rookies to help bring their brand back into the spotlight with Celebrities already on the brand Rihanna, Big Sean and The Weekend.
Puma has already shown the model of the first basketball shoe named the Puma Clyde Court Disrupt. The shoe pays homage to NBA hall-of-famer Walt “Clyde” Frazier who wore pumas when he played the game. The shoe has the style and flair that Clyde had on the court and off the court as an athlete. Another notable signing to the basketball line was NBA veteran Rudy Gay who has been seen working out and shooting around in the shoes as he left Nike to help bring the brand into the National and International spotlight.
This means puma is back on the prowl so sneakerheads and sneaker brands alike stay tuned to see what the brand is going to do.