SBD/May 29, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Puma Will Avoid World Cup Promotional Push, Favoring Back-To-School Campaign

Balotelli and other players will wear the new cleats during the World Cup
Puma "won’t start its major promotional push until" the upcoming FIFA World Cup is over, as company CEO Bjorn Gulden "plans a burst of ads later in the summer, counting on impressionable kids to pester their parents for new cleats as they head back to school," according to Aaron Ricadela of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Puma during the tournament itself "will rely on the eight national teams it sponsors to promote the German company’s gear." Gulden said that instead of an "ad blitz during the World Cup as Nike and Adidas are planning, Puma will unveil its 'Forever Faster' ad campaign during the back-to-school season in August and September." The ads "will star athletes that Puma sponsors," including Italian soccer player Mario Balotelli and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, along with EPL club Arsenal. Puma is outfitting Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ghana, Italy, Ivory Coast, Switzerland and Uruguay. This month, it "introduced splashy cleats that clad player’s right foot in pink and left in blue." Several players "will wear them at the World Cup," including Balotelli, Argentina's Sergio Aguero, Spain's Cesc Fabregas and Germany’s Marco Reus. Barclays Capital analyst Julian Easthope said that emphasizing the "back-to-school season also sets up Puma for introductions of new running shoes and Arsenal-branded soccer clothes heading into next year." Puma "is starting to spend more on marketing as Gulden seeks to make his mark." The company earlier this month said that such outlays "are increasing" after falling 11% last year to $741M (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 5/28).

AT LEAST THEY'RE HONEST: ADWEEK's Gabriel Beltrone wrote adidas "should get some points for honesty" with its new "All In Or Nothing" campaign that unfollows you from all of the company's marketing efforts if you do not click "all in." Beltrone: "Really, what soccer may come down to is worshipping celebrities so you can be spammed by a marketer" (ADWEEK.com, 5/27).
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