Looking to reestablish their brand in the basketball world, multinational company Puma has just named music mogul Jay-Z their president of basketball operations. Born Shawn Carter, Puma will look for him to attract artists and players as well as guiding the creative direction of the brand. Recently collaborating with Carter for his 4:44 Tour, this pairing apparently was no knee jerk decision.
“We’ve been working with Roc Nation for quite some time. They’ve been great partners to us for several years. We’ve done many different deals with many different ambassadors,” said Puma’s global director of brand and marketing Adam Petrick to Complex also stating that the President of Basketball Operations gig “was something [Jay-Z] wanted to be a part of.”
Not having an NBA player signed to the brand since former Toronto Raptors guard Vince Carter in 1999, likely through the influence of Jay-Z have signed projected NBA Draft lottery picks DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III and Zhaire Smith to multiyear footwear and apparel endorsement deals. In addition to the NBA prospects added, Puma has also issued a lifetime contract to NBA icon Walt “Clyde” Frazier, making him the first signature athlete of the brand for basketball with the Puma Clyde set to be released soon.
Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley speak about why they chose to sign with PUMA, their upcoming signature sneakers and what the future holds for PUMA hoops: https://t.co/rSDxSFXbDi (via @BleacherReport) pic.twitter.com/LfbvulXDa8
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 18, 2018
Petrick speaking with Complex added “We’re making a serious statement about the entry of the category, that we want to be a performance brand, but then also very culturally focused,”.