Puma kicks off football drive with Clifford French

Puma is planning to ratchet up its share in the increasingly competitive football market by targeting youngsters through the brand's big-name football stars.

Ambassador: Sergio Agüero is one big name on Puma’s books
Ambassador: Sergio Agüero is one big name on Puma’s books

The sports giant has picked Clifford French as its retained UK and Ireland agency covering football following a three-way pitch process.

The appointment, replacing incumbent Mercieca, will involve the agency using a trio of stars – and their respective football boot deals – to appeal to young fans.

Puma will use its links with Manchester City stars Sergio Agüero and Yaya Touré, as well as Barcelona playmaker Cesc Fàbregas, as the foundation to this work.

Comms will include linking the characteristics of the players, and their boots, to the target audience. 

The Newcastle United kit supplier will also seek to include a range of other footballing names and associated clubs as it focuses on the ‘grassroots player’.

A well placed agency source called the company’s recent deals with big-name footballers ‘an aggressive move’, pitting it against recent US entrants to the football market Warrior and Under Armour.

The source added: ‘In what is an increasingly competitive marketing space, Puma will be wanting to hold its own and break up the established order of Nike and Adidas.’

But the source warned: ‘It will come down to how it uses its big-name ambassadors rather than simply who it signs up.’
PRWeek understands that blogger outreach and social media will form a key part of the comms work. Puma has recently launched the What’s In Your Nature Facebook app.

Traditional press will also be central to the brief, with well established youth-focused print titles, such as Match of The Day, a main target.

Puma UK and Benelux marketing director Roger Harrison pointed to the agency’s ‘network of strategic partners across the football landscape’ as a key element in the appointment.

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