Puma currently ranks number three in terms of largest sportswear manufacturer around the globe. Best known to many through sponsorships of soccer teams and creating outstanding soccer uniforms plus other sports-related accessories, the German multinational company made a sluggish start this year, which is mainly due to the European economic crunch.
On top of the euro zone debt crisis at hand, rival sports apparel firm Adidas has made an exclusive marketing deal for the London Olympics, therefore, further restraining Puma’s ability to gain from sponsorships over athletes like Usain Bolt.
Despite the setbacks Puma faces today, the corporation’s CEO Franz Koch looks to turn things around by investing more on soccer. Koch, a former professional field hockey player, firmly believes that banking on the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, and the Olympics as well, is a key solution.
“We need to continue to weather the storms in Europe,” said Koch. He also added “We are positive about the sports events we have in the pipeline, about the product innovation we are launching and that’s why we still believe that 2012 can be a successful year for Puma.”
The Czech and Italian teams will be wearing upper garments which sport the famous Puma cat logo during the soccer championships. This marketing strategy could actually provide a greater short-term boost in sales as compared to the potential sales made from the Olympics. Advertising through soccer teams in soccer uniforms sporting the brand trademark is unquestionably a sound strategy.
“In terms of commercial opportunities, the Euro cup might be a bigger opportunity for us,” said Koch. He then added “You sell a lot of replica kits and fanware related to the teams and individual players. Therefore from a commercial perspective, the Euro cup is probably more interesting.”
Given the fact that Puma has sponsorship over several national soccer teams, the number of prospects has increased as well. Cedalla Marley, daughter of the late reggae star Bob Marley, has designed soccer uniforms which will be worn by the Jamaican team.
Team Jamaica has always been charismatic with its audience, and will serve as a key factor in marketing Puma. In addition to this, Cedalla Marley further enhances marketability through personal customization of the soccer kits.
“The Marley family and Usain Bolt are probably the biggest assets you can have when you talk about Jamaica. It’s not only us, it’s also the Jamaicans who are really proud of this partnership” said Koch