The event today followed closely after Puma's confirmation of its appointment of Jay-Z as creative director of Puma Basketball. Just past year, arguably the most influential player in the league, Steph Curry took his talents to Under Armour, who are not commonly known for their basketball shoes. The company also re-signed perhaps its most famous basketball player from past decades, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, to a lifetime contract earlier this week and launched a modernized version of Frazier's old shoe from 1973. He was first referred to as President of Basketball Operations. In addition to Jay-Z, Puma has also signed top draft prospects DeAndre Ayton from Arizona University, Marvin Bagley III from Duke University, and Zhaire Smith from Texas Tech as brand ambassadors.
Jay Z has not signed up for the role of president of Puma Basketball.
It will be interesting to see how the company expands using its social feeds and by signing more renowned athletes in the future.
Ayton is predicted to be the number-one pick at this Thursday's National Basketball Association draft and Bagley's deal is one of the biggest rookie shoe deals since Kevin Durant signed with Nike in 2007.
Since then, Puma has collaborated with a range of A-listers, including Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, The Weeknd and Cara Delevingne, as well as the rappers Big Sean, Nipsey Hussle and Yo Gotti.
JAY-Z continues his winning streak in both the music and business sectors of his career.
PUMA's global director of brand Adam Petrick has issued a statement about why it made sense to work with Young Hov on this huge power move. There are two examples already: Puma signed WNBA star Skylar Diggins-Smith, a Roc Nation client, past year; and Roc Nation signed National Basketball Association prospect Zhaire Smith in April, before Smith signed with Puma.
In partnering with Jay-Z, Puma has signalled its commitment to a familiar strategy: letting big-name celebrities steer its brand.