Will Puma’s New Partnership with Rihanna Save Face

Will Puma’s New Partnership with Rihanna Save Face

Rihanna signs the dotted line

Currently sitting in third place in the sporting-goods industry, Puma has decided to get back into its cat-like shape by focusing on lifestyle branding to compete with leading industry giants Nike and Adidas. With a new creative director, will Puma be able to keep up with leading industry giants?

Since the split between brother Adolf Dassler (Adidas founder) and Rudolf Dassler (Puma founder), Rudolf has been in the race to catch-up with his brother’s brand, Adidas. Because Adolf had a better relationships with athletes and other celebrities, Puma was having a harder time distinguishing their brand from other sports brands. Related Content: How Puma Can Compete with Adidas and Nike In the efforts of differentiating the Puma brand from other sporting-goods brands, Bjørn Gulden (CEO) came up with a new strategy “To be the Fastest Sports Brand in the world.” Puma’s new mission statement then became the new brand positioning to be #ForeverFaster. The new tag line for 2014 will include more from Usain Bolt as brand ambassador for running footwear; fastest man, fastest brand. With the world’s fastest man by Puma’s side, what more could the brand do to change its positioning? Related Content: Puma Statistics At last, Puma has partnered with the global cultural icon Rihanna to represent Puma’s Women’s Training category, which will be launched for the new year in January 2015. Related Content: Rihanna to Partner with Puma

“Signing Rihanna is a fantastic step for Puma. Her global profile, her charisma and individuality, her ambition – all these things make her a perfect ambassador for our brand. She also aligns perfectly with the values PUMA strives for: to be Confident, Brave, Determined and Joyful. With a strong portfolio in football, running and motorsport, finding an inspiring partner for women’s training was very important. Rihanna was a natural choice for us. We’re delighted to have her as a partner, and we’re looking forward to what’s to come,” commented CEO Bjørn Gulden.

Puma's post on Instagram

Rihanna's Instagram Not to mention, Rihanna’s 13.3 million Instagram followers and 38.5 million Twitter followers is also helpful for Puma’s brand presence. Fans of Rihanna will support the new partnership with Puma especially since it’s now representing a non-traditional look on sports and lifestyle. Rihanna empowers women everywhere to be confident and embrace individuality, and with her keen sense in style and fashion, Puma is looking forward to making a comeback with a new look on footwear and apparel. Related Content: Brand Comeback Stories

With a new creative director, how well will Puma do by embracing lifestyle branding? Could this stunt backfire? The brand repositioning may result in a major departure from the sporting-goods industry, or it could really help Puma differentiate their brand from competitors. Whatever the result, we are excited to see where Puma’s new campaign takes them.

Related Content: Should You Embrace Lifestyle Branding?

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