Brand: In the U.S., Puma struggles against Nike who dominates with 55% of the sneaker market. Their marketing tactics, similar to Adidas and Nike, rely on endorsements from athletes and pop stars. However, since Puma’s popularity struggles in America, A list artists and athletes prefer to work with Puma’s competitors.
How We Got Smart: One-on-One Interviews, Quantitative Survey
Situation: One of pop culture’s most substantial elements is entertainment and sneakers have long been tied to various types of entertainment from sports to music to art. Most notably, Air Jordans released in 1985 designed by Michael Jordan were trailblazers in sneaker culture. To this day, Air Jordans are revered by sneakerheads (sneaker enthusiasts) and cost hundreds of dollars. More recently, in 2017 Jay-Z designed a sneaker for Puma as part of his promotion of his album 4:44.
‘Aha’ Moment: Since sneaker style is tied to relevant culture trends, Puma can thrive in the American market by exploring an evolving aspect of culture, eSports. Also known as competitive gaming, eSports is a $900 million dollar industry and more and more gamers are being treated the same way as athletes. By 2021, it is estimated that over 70 million people in the US will watch an eSports final which will top the viewership for American pro baseball, soccer and hockey finals.
Strategy: Puma shoes take gamer identity from the basement to the streets.
Target: The Pop Culturalist segment.
Potential Tactic: Partnering with Tyler Blevins AKA Ninja to design a shoe with Puma. Blevins has over 21 million subscribers on his YouTube channel and is the most popular streamer on Twitch.
Group Members: Robert Blanton, Anna Boutchard, Zavi Harman