It is difficult to speak about endorsement and sponsorship contracts in football (soccer) without naming the two industry giants in sportswear and equipment such as Nike and Adidas. Both companies invest a large percentage of their annual budgets to promote their brands at an international level via multi-million dollar marketing agreements with the best football players on the planet to act as ¨brand ambassadors¨ for their products. Nike, for example, currently sponsor great players such as Cristian Ronaldo, Andrés Iniesta, Wayne Rooney, Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué among many others. Equally, Adidas count on Leo Messi, David Beckham, David Villa, Kaká, and Xavi, just to name a few. And every year we are witness to the ongoing battle between the two as they aim to become the leaders in their sector.
This year, however, Puma have made a significant investment in order to increase their market share and compete with Nike and Adidas in the football category. In fact, in the previous month they have announced the signing of three superstars to their brand ambassador line-up including Segio Agüero, Radamel Falcao and Cesc Fàbregas. These three new arrivals have joined the already existing team that includes Thierry Henry, Nemanja Vidic, Samuel Eto'o and Gianluigi Buffon. Without a doubt, the brand's latest signings have given Puma a new boost given their higher caché than the rest of the members of their existing ¨football family¨.
|Agüero´s presentation with PUMA|
|Falcao´s official presentation with PUMA|
- All three players share the common denominator of having recently moved to a new club and country. A considerable strategic risk for Puma, taking into account that it is not always easy for a player to adapt to a new team and league. For now, the company's vision couldn't have been any more more accurate though, as all three have gotten off to outstanding starts with their new clubs (Agüero-8 goals with Man. City, Falcao-5 goals with Atlético Madrid, and Fàbregas-4 goals with FC Barcelona a as well as lifting the Spanish and UEFA Super Cups).
- The brand has signed two players from the Spanish League (Cesc and Falcao) and one from the EPL (Agüero). Both La Liga and the English Premiership are considered the best leagues in the world, a clear indicator tha Puma is looking to gain ground in the two most important markets in the football category to compete with Adidas and Nike.
- It is also captivating to analyze the interest in the players' nationalities. In the case of Fàbregas, he is the first player from Spain's World Cup winning side to join the German brand. Furthermore, he currently plays for the best club in the world: FC Barcelona. Agüero and Falcao, on the other hand are very popular latin american players in their respective home countries. Another decision that indicates that Puma is looking to explore in depth the LATAM market.
- Finally, from a communications perspective, the strategy of using Fàbregas himself to announce his signing for the brand via his mobile phone camera is not only innovative but also very successful. The message quickly reached an international audience via the web and various social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Barça's midfielder recorded two videos, one in English and one in Spanish in which he shows his new apparel. Without a doubt it was an inexpensive and effective way to communicate the great news for Puma.
What do you think of Cesc's signing with Puma? Please leave us your comments. You can do so with your Google profile or as an ¨anonymous¨.
Diego Valdés Rendón
BA, MBA, Master in Sports Management
Founder & Executive Editor
MotivaGoal Sports Media