Thursday, October 30, 2008
Part 3 Puma
Puma is an unknown quantity at this point. They are a highly reputable producer of fine fashion-forward footwear and clothing. Their soccer gear is favored by many, including the Italian national team and CONCACAF.
Before signing an exclusive deal with Adidas, MLS used Puma balls and outfitted one of their premier teams, the Chicago Fire, in Puma kits. Prior to the Reebok era, a few NFL teams wore Puma uniforms and gloves. Many players wore Puma cleats.
Their logo is not as popular on the baseball diamond, but that market is fairly saturated as it is.
Will Puma make lacrosse equipment? Probably not unless they see enough crossover with soccer to make it worth their while. Most likely, they will dabble in lacrosse specific footwear and uniforms. Bags will most likely be produced as well. They will slowly work their uniforms onto college and high school campuses with subtle yet trendy designs. Granted the NFHS rules will limit their ability to make anything too eye catching for the younger crowd. Still, the possibilities at the college level are promising. Their footwear will be second to none in no time.
Eventually it is possible that Puma will look into expanding into the equipment market, but doing so will be under a partnership deal similar to Nike's relationship with STX. My prediction is that deBeer/Gait or Maverick will work with Puma to create a high end signature line adorned with the leaping cat. They will be a specialty or niche brand that only a few outsiders will gravitate too - at least on this continent. Asian, Australian, and European players will quickly snatch Puma gear, as their soccer equipment is already more popular overseas. Shots of the Australian lacrosse league show that many players are already wearing the cat on their feet.
at 7:00 AM