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MARKETING 101: NEW PUMA ADS GO BACK TO BASKETBALL BASICS
Published March 11, 1998
Puma's new basketball ad campaign "forgoes pro endorsers in favor of the potentially risky strategy of using high-school" basketball players, according to Jeff Jensen of AD AGE. The "Back to the Game" campaign, from PA- based Gyro Worldwide, will have TV and print support. The young players used in ads "are from Puma's strongest markets:" Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia, N.Y., and L.A. Jensen writes that some footwear companies have been "criticized for targeting and wooing high school" players, but Puma Chief Creative Officer Antonio Bertone said that the athletes featured in the new ads "aren't being paid, and therefore they shouldn't be considered endorsers." He noted that Puma will stop using the athletes in their senior year in order to protect their NCAA eligibility. Puma, whose '98 ad budget will be 15% of sales, will begin airing the spots nationally during the NBA playoffs (AD AGE, 3/9 issue).