It’s been proven that sports and fashion are a match made on (and off) the court. Boston-based Puma, for one, knows that relationship inside and out. The performance brand has skyrocketed it’s fashion cred in the last few years thanks to its Fenty Puma collaboration with Rihanna. Now, Puma has tapped Jay-Z to help them re-launch Puma Basketball.
Jay-Z was originally called the president of the revamped division, but Puma has since scaled that back to creative director. Jay, who has had quite a bit of experience with fashion and basketball via his own company Roc Nation, is expected to do big things for Puma Basketball.
“We’ve been working with Roc Nation for quite some time. They’ve been great partners to us for several years. We’ve done many different deals with many different ambassadors,” Adam Petrick, PUMA’s global director of brand and marketing, told Complex.
The multi-hyphenate rapper will help to handpick basketball players as brand ambassadors, as well as help with the direction of design, art, brand direction.
“What’s important to him on a day like today is that it’s clear we’re making a serious push with players like Bagley and Ayton and Smith,” Petrick added. “We’re making a serious statement about the entry of the category, that we want to be a performance brand, but then also very culturally focused. It’s clear that we’re looking at basketball through the lens of culture, and thinking about the fashion of basketball, the music of basketball, all the aspects of culture around basketball as much as the on court presence that we will have.”
As Petrick mentions, the brand has already wrangled some of basketball’s top players as ambassadors. Those include DeAndre Ayton of Arizona, Marvin Bagley III of Duke, and Zhaire Smith of Texas Tech.
Celebrities as designers has always been a precarious concept. Sometimes it totally flops, as was the case with Lindsay Lohan at Emanuel Ungaro in 2009. But, sometimes it’s an absolute win, especially at a time when celebrities and athletes are the trendsetters. Being that Jay-Z already has a ton of experience in entertainment, sports, and fashion, we have no doubt Puma Basketball will be the latter.