Puma Seeing More Success With Celebrity Endorsers Than Big-Name Athletes
Puma's decision to sign Rihanna as a creative director in '14 "appears to have paid off," as the brand has credited the singer for the "fantastic development" of its women's category, according to Sara Germano of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Puma saw a 7% jump in sales for its women's category in '16. Industry execs have "long grappled" with the debate as to whether celebrities or sports stars are "more effective endorsers." Puma CEO Björn Gulden said, "It's unfortunately very difficult to find a female athlete that means something in China, in Norway, in the U.S. and in Germany. If you do, it's coming from someone in entertainment. On the men's side, it's very different. You can probably name 10 basketball players who mean something all over the world, same with soccer." Puma has "expanded its roster of female celebrities since Rihanna to include reality-television star Kylie Jenner and singer Selena Gomez" (WSJ, 1/13).