Puma and Foot Locker Inc. have expanded their partnership.
The athletic powerhouse announced its expanded partnership with the retail giant today, which Puma explained will be “underscored by a focus on basketball,” as well as “the creation of exclusive product collections that meet the demands of this growing next-generation market segment.” What’s more, Puma said the two companies will roll out “hyper-relevant creator engagements and brand partnerships” that will resonate with a younger audience.
“Puma’s long-standing relationship with Foot Locker has played an instrumental role in our ability to drive innovation and push the boundaries of sports, fashion, and technology globally,” Puma North America president Bob Philion said in a statement. “Our enhanced partnership not only provides us with additional opportunities for collaboration and growth, but it will enable us to provide even greater experiences and inclusion for our evolving customer base around the world.”
With the expanded partnership, Puma said its basketball and classics categories will be bolstered at Foot Locker Inc. This includes continued exclusive access to the signature shoes of NBA star LaMelo Ball, such as the MB.02, which released in October. Puma said more iterations of the shoe will drop this month and in December.
The expansion will also see Puma and Foot Locker Inc. partner with The Pokémon Company International and Pokémon Go mobile game publisher Niantic for the next six months to turn several stores into gyms and Poké Stops in Pokémon Go. These include 400 Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Kids Foot Locker stores in the U.S., as well as the Puma NYC Flagship store. The Puma x Pokémon collection is available now exclusively via Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Kids Foot Locker.
Puma also confirmed that its collection with Paw Patrol will be available at exclusively via Kids Foot Locker and Foot Locker in North America on Nov. 25, a collection with basketball prodigy Mikey Williams is on the way, exclusive product programs with singer Dixie D’Amelio and hip-hop artist Cordae will be released in the coming months, and a collaboration with CoComelon will arrive in the spring exclusively at Kids Foot Locker.
“We are very excited to build on our already strong partnership with Puma,” Foot Locker Inc. EVP of Global Lockers and Champs Sports Andrew Gray said in a statement. “By expanding and strengthening our collaboration with Puma, we continue to advance our strategy to diversify our product selection and bring new and innovative products to our consumers.”
Beyond partnerships and product, Puma said the expanded partnership will add hype drops and marketplace exclusivity through franchises, shared marketing partnership investments and elevated in-store and online experiences. Also, it will allow for investing in product creation and marketing to support Foot Locker Inc.’s Black community-focused effort Leading Education & Economic Development (LEED) and Puma’s social changed-focused Reform initiative.
Both Puma and Foot Locker Inc. have been the subject of headlines as of late, mostly for executive moves at the top of each company.
At the start of the month, Puma revealed current CEO Bjørn Gulden will step away from the company and that 11-year company veteran Arne Freundt will become CEO and chairman of the management board, effective Jan. 1, 2023. On Nov. 8, Adidas confirmed Gulden will become its next CEO.
And in August, Foot Locker Inc. announced CEO Dick Johnson would retire in September and named Mary Dillon, former executive chair and CEO of Ulta Beauty, as his successor.