Puma wants to jump back into the basketball game.
The last time we were talking about anyone wearing Puma on a basketball court (at any level) it was Vince Carter signing with them straight out of North Carolina — then instantly wanting out of the deal (jumping to Nike a year later). Walt “Clyde” Frazier wore Puma back in the day.
Puma is still prominent in soccer — they sponsor Arsenal FC, Borussia Dortmund, A.C. Milan, and others — as well as having a considerable presence in track and field (sponsoring the Jamaican national team, for one). Basketball had been ceded to Nike, and to a lesser degree Adidas.
No longer, they are going hard into this draft class to get new sponsors, reports Jon Krawczynski of the Athletic.
Even the top rookies don’t make that much money on shoe deals (relatively), the top picks getting deals in the $2 million to $3 million range. That’s the top end, often it is less.
For Puma to come in and land Bagley — almost a lock top three pick — or any other player, they would have to come in way over the top on those standard deals. They did, Durant’s deal was seven years, $60 million, so this likely is in the $9 million or more a year range.
We’ll see if it works for the Germany-based shoe company, basketball is a lucrative market, but it’s hard to break the Nike stranglehold on it.
Now, if Puma can design some suede game shoe’s were talking.