Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby Puma in a Big Boy’s Market

Puma has struggled to remain relevant in a two horse sportswear race with front-runners Nike and Adidas. Likewise, most people don’t know that the sneaker war has been largely fought out between two little known worldwide cities – Portland, Oregon (USA), which is the home of Nike and now Adidas US HQ, and Herzogenaurach (just outside of Nuremberg or 195 KM North of Munich), Germany, which is home to both Adidas and Puma. Such is the life of the little brother, I suppose as Puma (pictured here in the Altstadt) was created by the little brother of Adidas founder. Traditionally, Puma has carved out a niche as more of a fashion than sports apparel player. And today the sports apparel battle is fought out at every major sporting event worldwide. Adidas sponsored the Beijing Olympics at a cost of $80M, opening an average two stores a day in China leading up to the Olympics. At the same time, Nike is sponsoring 22 of 28 competing Chinese federations. Puma, on the other hand, may have made the biggest impact at the Olympics as sole sponsor of Jamaican World Record breaker Usain Bolt. So I suppose the moral of the story is don’t write off the little guy.

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