Typically in the world of sports top draft picks usually sign endorsement deals with their “dream” brand or main stream basketball brands such as Nike, Jordan, Adidas or Under Armor. This summer a very unexpected yet popular brand made a giant leap back into the basketball shoe marketing business. Puma a brand who has not signed any NBA players since Vince Carter in 1998 made a jump and signed not 1… not 2… not 3… but 4 first round draft picks from the 2018 NBA draft.
#1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, #2 overall pick Marvin Bagley, #14 overall pick Michael Porter Jr, and #16 overall pick Zhaire Smith were the rookies that Puma landed this offseason. Puma began the summer of signing all of these lottery picks first by signing Marvin Bagley 5 year contact in which brings Bagley $2-3 million dollars in each year. Shortly after the signing of Bagley, the rest of the guys followed up shortly by signing their deals to Puma as well.
With targeting these younger athletes Puma hopes to begin to attract more up and coming athletes in the future. Not only was Bagley’s contract the largest rookie shoe endorsement dealsince Kevin Durant’s in 2007 it also came with an commitment from Puma to a grassroots infrastructure with the Bagley family that will be centered around skill devilment for the next generation of AAU players.
It dis not stop there for Puma, along side of these lottery picks Puma also signed two players that already have a name for theirselves in the league. One of those players is Spurs small forward Rudy Gay who signed his deal with Puma on June 20th becoming Pumas first vertern athlete for their resurgence as a competitive basketball shoe brand. This deal was a no brainer for Gay to sign because he is also signed to Roc Nations agency which is ran by rapper Jay Z who was selected as the new face of the brand earlier in the year.
The latest addition to the Puma team was Terry Rozier Celtics back up Point Guard who had a breakout playoff run after the injury to all star guard Kyrie Irving. Terry may not be a veteran but with his unique on and off the court style he will surely benefit to the Puma brand to try to make them a front runner in basketball sneakers for the first time in history.
Already with their established and trending street apparel, the Puma brand definitely is making strides in the right direction to jump back into the basketball sneaker market as well. Do you believe Puma will ever become a top 3 basketball sneaker brand ?
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