Puma is planning to ratchet up its share in the increasingly competitive soccer market by targeting youngsters through the brand's big-name soccer stars.
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 soccer shoe 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, in the campaign.
The effort will include linking the characteristics of the players, and their shoes, to the target audience.
The Newcastle United kit supplier will also seek to include a range of other soccer stars and associated clubs as it focuses on the “grassroots player.”
A well-placed agency source called the company's recent deals with big-name soccer players “an aggressive move,” pitting it against recent US entrants to the football market Warrior and Under Armour.
“In what is an increasingly competitive marketing space, Puma will want to hold its own and break up the established order of Nike and Adidas,” the source added.
However, the source warned that “it will come down to how it uses its big-name ambassadors rather than simply who it signs up.”
PRWeek UK understands that blogger outreach and social media will form a key part of the communications 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, as 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.
This article originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister title of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.