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SPORTS MARKETING

Puma signs a brand endorsement deal with 17-year-old starlet

By our News Team | 2021

Basketball prodigy has signed up with the global sports brand even though he has yet to graduate from high school.

If you want to be seen as a hip-and-happening sports brand that appeals to younger consumers, how do you achieve this? 

The answer is to sign an endorsement deal with an up-and-coming 17-year-old who has yet to play professionally, but already has millions of followers on social media and a potentially stellar career ahead of him.

Mikey Williams, a teenage high school basketballer in the US, has just signed such a deal with Puma, the global sports equipment and apparel brand. He is the youngest person to sign for Puma Hoops, a basketball-focused marketing program that targets 18-24-year-old consumers.

Sports Marketing

Puma

Connecting with younger athletes and fans

“Mikey joining our Puma family is exciting news for our brand,” the company’s Global Director of Brand and Marketing, Adam Petrick said. 

“His talent on the court and his ability to connect with young athletes and fans alike, will help drive hoops culture forward and inspire the next generation of athletes. He has a bright future ahead of him and we are proud to be a part of his journey.”

According to Puma, Williams will appear in various current and future campaigns, promote certain apparel, assist with product launches and create social content.

The company noted in its statement that the 17-year-old is scheduled to appear in its ‘Not Yet Rated’ marketing campaign, which “embraces the notion that while Mikey is a top talent, his ceiling still hasn’t been determined”.

Puma understands mixing of sports and culture

For his part, Williams said: “I am excited to join the Puma family this early in my basketball journey. Puma really understands how to mix hoops and culture, two things I am passionate about.”

Marc Beckman, founder and CEO of advertising agency DMA United, recently told the industry website Footwear News that the deal could shake up that market.

“A deal between Puma and Mikey Williams will be ground-breaking and completely disrupt the relationship between brands, athletes and fans,” he said. “Specifically, it will create a marketplace filled with extended-term deal-flow, particularly for elite athletes – starting with teenagers and forecasting into the professional level sports.”

The terms of the endorsement deal have not been made public.

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