Puma, Arsenal Ink Five-Year Kit Deal As Company Looks To Restablish Itself In Sports
EPL club Arsenal “secured its biggest ever commercial deal by agreeing to a five-year kit agreement” with Puma, according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources said that it was “worth slightly more” than the contract extension signed in ‘12 with Emirates airline for the club's shirt sponsorship and stadium naming-rights deal. Puma will replace Nike as Arsenal’s kit supplier beginning in July. A source said that Arsenal’s decision to go with Puma “may have been influenced by the Nike renegotiations” with EPL club Manchester United and “worries about being overshadowed by that proposed deal” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/28). REUTERS' Keith Weir noted the agreement "shows Puma's determination to re-establish itself as a core sports brand" under new CEO Bjoern Gulden after moving more into lifestyle and fashion (REUTERS, 1/27). Gulden said, “Arsenal have been a key strategic target for Puma for a number of years now. Arsenal represents a major commercial and marketing opportunity to reinforce Puma’s credibility as a global sports brand, and we have full confidence the plans in place to activate this partnership will have a significant global impact" (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 1/27). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Kathy Gordon noted Arsenal joins Gold Medal-winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and golfer Rickie Fowler in Puma's “stable of high-profile sports sponsorships.” The company's “renewed focus on performance sports is an attempt to halt a slide in sales and profit after years of concentrating on lifestyle clothing.” Puma hired advertising firm JWT to “head its relaunch.” Puma plans to “start a consumer-focused marketing effort in August under the tagline ‘Forever Faster’" (WSJ.com, 1/27).