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Puma Signs Teen Basketball Prodigy Mikey Williams to a Multiyear Endorsement Deal

High school basketball star Mikey Williams is now a Puma athlete.

The athletic giant announced today that it has signed Williams, who plays for Vertical Academy in Charlotte, to a multiyear endorsement deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

At 17 years old, the brand said Williams, a five-star recruit who is considered a top prospect in the 2023 high school class, is the youngest athlete to sign with Puma Hoops.

“Mikey joining our Puma family is exciting news for our brand,” Puma global director of brand and marketing Adam Petrick said in a statement. “His talent on the court and his ability to connect with young athletes and fans alike, will help drive hoops culture forward and inspire the next generation of athletes. He has a bright future ahead of him and we are proud to be a part of his journey.”

Puma said via statement that Williams will wear various styles on the court, such as its Court Rider shoe. Also, the brand said he will appear in the brand’s “Not Yet Rated” marketing effort, which the company explained “embraces the notion that while Mikey is a top talent, his ceiling still hasn’t been determined.” Puma also said Williams will appear in future campaigns, will assist with product launches and will create social content.

“I am excited to join the Puma family this early in my basketball journey,” Williams said in a statement. “Puma really understands how to mix hoops and culture, two things I am passionate about.”

Mikey Williams Puma
Mikey Williams is the newest Puma signee.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Puma

Puma confirmed the signing of Williams a month after Shams Charania, NBA insider with The Athletic and Stadium, broke news via Twitter that the brand was close to signing the athlete under the new name, image and likeness rules approved by the NCAA in July.

Williams has a massive presence on social media. At time of publication, the baller has 3.3 million followers on Instagram.

In recent weeks, Williams has shared several images with Puma footwear laced up, and wore the brand in an ad for the NBA 2K22 video game that debuted last month while wearing apparel from the brand. The ad paired the baller with Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum.

Last month, founder and CEO of advertising agency DMA United Marc Beckman told FN that a deal between Puma and Williams could shake up how business is done in the athletic footwear and apparel market.

“A deal between Puma and Mikey Williams will be ground-breaking and completely disrupt the relationship between brands, athletes and fans,” Beckman said. “Specifically, it will create a marketplace filled with extended term deal-flow, particularly for elite athletes, starting with teenagers and forecasting into the professional level sports. Consider a scenario where Puma and Mikey lock-up from 17 to 27. This can be accomplished contractually with very little risk to the brands.”

Puma re-entered the basketball market in 2018, and since then has built a roster of superstar athletes including LaMelo Ball, Breanna Stewart, Deandre Ayton, Katie Lou Samuelson, RJ Barrett and others.

BEST GROUP Photo by Angelo Lanza Sponsored By ITA

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