The cat's out of the bag--Puma is diving deep into Web3.
2022 has continued to be a year of widespread adoption for Web3 concepts, and brands are jumping on the bandwagon. While some brands have partnered with big names in the NFT space, others have focused their attention on development within the metaverse, and some have begun launching their own NFTs.
One example worth highlighting is Puma, the global sports brand and design company. They have taken Web3 and emerging technology adoption to a whole new level. Despite global turmoil and political tensions, 2021 was the most successful year in the brand's history (sales grew by 32%); they even welcomed a new North American HQ in Somerville, MA.
Puma’s brand mantra, “Forever Faster,” has guided their early adoption of emerging technology. Adam Patrick, Global Director of Brand and Marketing at Puma, stated “We need to be faster than ever in the way we react and adapt. Somerville is a city buzzing with creative, diverse energy that will help us live out our ‘Forever Faster’ mentality.”
Let’s dive into some of the ways in which Puma continues to explore its “forever faster” mentality…
Like many other brands, Puma has submitted trademarks and signaled their intention to launch digital products. Under one filed trademark, Puma cited an intent to build an intuitive website with PC application software. Trademark Attorney Josh Gerben has stated that, “Puma’s offerings will include online but non-downloadable virtual footwear, clothing, headwear, eyewear, bags, sports bags, backpacks, sports equipment, art, toys, accessories, digital animate and non-animated designs and characters, avatars, digital overlays, and skins”.
In addition to patenting, Puma purchased an Ethereum name and rebranded its Twitter account to Puma.eth, being the first major sports brand to do so. The attached puma.eth wallet holds multiple animal-themed collections, such as Gutter Cat #1110, Lazy Lions, Cool Cats, and Kuddle Koala, in addition to Ethereum. Puma even flaunted its Cool Cats NFT as its PFP, but has recently returned to its original logo.
In late February of this year, Puma and Lazy Lions NFT announced a partnership, but the details have yet to be disclosed. In the meantime, Puma has kept an active presence on NFT Twitter and hired new roles (some temporary) that focus on building “digital culture” around their Web3 presence.
Most recently, Puma leveraged virtual influencers to market its new Kosmo Rider Shoe, under the concept “reality reimagined”. Kim Zulu, one of the campaign’s virtual influencers put it simply, "For a global brand like PUMA to partner up with a virtual influencer is a huge deal.” This campaign, however, isn’t PUMA’s first time working with virtual influencers. In 2020, they launched their own in-house virtual influencer to advertise the release of their new Rider Unlocked shoe.
The big takeaway here is that some brands, like Puma, are betting their future on Web3 and embodying its principles within their brand values. Their competitors, such as Nike and Adidas, have made similar efforts so at least part of Puma's decisions are made in order to keep up with their peers. During a period of expansive growth, Puma’s demonstrated commitment to standing on the frontlines of digital culture has enabled them to take on new heights in Web3, and we have a feeling this is just the beginning.