Puma has tapped Jay-Z in it’s efforts to revive it’s basketball sneaker division. The company gave up on basketball products 20 years ago.
In a statement to ESPN Adam Petrick, global director of marketing and brand for Puma, said “Jay-Z’s official designation is creative director.”Jay-Z will collaborate on art direction and brand concepts.
“We’re making a serious statement about the entry of the category, that we want to be a performance brand, but then also very culturally focused.
“It’s clear that we’re looking at basketball through the lens of culture, and thinking about the fashion of basketball, the music of basketball, all the aspects of culture around basketball as much as the on court presence that we will have.”
Puma isn’t missing a step. In anticipation of the upcoming NBA Draft (June 21), the company has signed Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Zhaire Smith to multi-year footwear and apparel endorsements deals. All three players are expected to be drafted in the first round.Puma’s last basketball endorsement deal was with Vince Carter in 1998. A 10-year deal that ended after two seasons.
Despite, or because of, Jay-Z’s connections to the sports world, he founded Roc Nation Sports 2013 – a sports management division of his Roc Nation entertainment company, his role won’t involve in individual sponsorship deals.
Earlier reports made mention of Jay-Z’s role as president of basketball operations. Those reports were based on an erroneous comments of a company spokesperson.