Puma chief hails Manchester City signing
Puma chief executive Franz Koch has hailed Manchester City and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero as “an incredible performer” and the perfect expression of the Puma brand.
Aguero, who signed a multi-million dollar deal with the German sportswear company in September, has become the centrepiece of Puma’s soccer marketing strategy.
The company has become renowned in recent years for sponsoring a variety of African national soccer teams, but has signed a string of high-profile personal endorsement deals in the sport over the last year.
- Ex-Arsenal star signs with Puma
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- Barcelona star signs lucrative new deal
- Manchester City adds Championship talent
Koch, who became chief executive last summer, described the process that Puma undertakes when signing brand ambassadors in an exclusive interview with SportsPro.
Performance is important, Koch explained, but not nearly as important as personality. “Everything we do has to have a joyful component, be it product or be it marketing, no matter what,” he said. “And I think you see that reflected also in our sports marketing ambassadors. Usain Bolt is obviously the perfect expression of that with his high performance but also his light hearted and joyful attitude.
“You can also copy and paste that in other areas; take football as another example – Kun Aguero, an incredible performer; he just decided the Premier League in the last minute, but he’s such a nice, light-hearted person at the same time; he’s very social, very funny and there’s always a smile on his face. And that’s incredibly important for us when making a choice on particular sports marketing teams or athletes, that they express what Puma stands for as a brand, because that needs to carry through to consumers at the end of the day.”
Koch explains that he personally is involved with all Puma’s major marketing deals. Local company executives will feed information back to Puma HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany, where the Puma sports marketing team will draw up a long-list of targets in various sports categories. The list will be narrowed down before Koch himself steps in before any deal is closed.
“It wasn’t difficult with Aguero really,” he says, “because his talent is undisputed. But what was really smart with Aguero was his connection to Maradona, through his wife. That was an obvious story for us, having been the long-term partner of Maradona in the past. This was a great story for us to tell, and he’s an incredible performance athlete at the same time and it’s paying off – you can see that.”
The full, comprehensive interview with Puma chief executive Franz Koch, in which he sets out the company’s plan to capitalise on the London Olympics through its standout deals with the Jamaican team and Usain Bolt, appears in the August edition of SportsPro. Subscribe hereblog comments powered by Disqus
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