Puma 'Pinning Its Hopes' For Sales Success On Jamaican Sprinter Bolt
Puma is "pinning its hopes" on Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's performance at the London Games to "speed up sales and outpace its bigger competitors adidas and Nike," according to Etienne Balmer of the AFP. Bolt is a "key plank" in Puma's strategy to "shift its focus from lifestyle clothing to sportswear." The sportswear category currently accounts for 35% of Puma sales, but company CEO Franz Koch "wants to boost that to 40 percent and the company sees its sponsorship of double world-record holder Bolt as key to that aim." Puma also sponsors the entire Jamaican Olympic team, and Puma Head of Global Sports Marketing & Sports Law Christian Voigt said, "The way of life in Jamaica, its music, its relaxed attitude, its style, its colours. This is also Puma's spirit." Balmer noted with profits "hit by the eurozone crisis, Puma is hoping for a strong Olympics to revive its fortunes." For the full year, Puma "is aiming at an increase of between five and 10 percent in turnover with a roughly five-percent boost in net profits." The company is "due to release updated figures on July 26" (AFP, 7/15).