We were asked to re-evaluate Puma’s segments in the sneaker category.
Increase Puma’s market share in the American sneaker market.
Using Qualtrics, we conducted a quantitative survey involving over 100+ participants who answered 75 questions about sneakers. From the responses we created four main segments: “Utilitarian,” “Style Minded,” “Performance,” and “Pop Culturalist.”
We recommended an execution that spoke to the "Pop Culturalist” segment based on Puma’s most recent re-entrance into the realm of professional basketball via the endorsement of the top freshman class athletes, Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley, as well as recent sponsorships by American pop stars, Selena Gomez, Jay Z, and Cara Delevingne.
Puma has been struggling to break into the American sneaker market because of their inability to connect with American sports. Because the majority of top American athletes are already endorsed by Nike and Adidas, Puma’s move has been to sponsor pop stars and actors, which has brought some success. However, this has not helped Puma reach the “Pop Culturalist” segment dominated by “sneakerheads” largely attracted to professional sports (basketball in particular) rather than music or movies.
Trying to make a comeback in the realm of American athletics, Puma has recently signed freshman star athletes Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley to create a signature line of sneakers for them. The problem is, this is a long term investment and the young players may never become stars in the game. To help Puma connect with the NBA in another way, we looked into the most recent news surrounding the NBA- its foray into the world of eSports.
The NBA has become the first professional sports league to enter into the world of eSports because a large segment of their audience is gamers. Already 17 out of the 30 NBA teams have created official NBA 2K teams with professional gamer athletes contracted by different franchises. By 2020, it’s expected that all 30 NBA teams will participate in eSports. eSports has grown significantly in the past decade with expectations to become a 1.65 billion dollar industry by 2021. North America dominates this market capturing 38% of total eSports revenue. The audience is also young. Thirty nine percent of viewers are between the ages of 25-34, making it the perfect market to attract a young consumer base who are more likely to fit into the “Pop Culturalist” segment.
Although Puma has had a hard time breaking into the realm of traditional sports, there is a new type of professional sports emerging with stars of its own. eSports offers Puma an opportunity to enter into the sports world and capture the “Pop Culturalist” segment in which it can regain a foothold within the American sneaker and athletic wear market.
Take gamer identity from the basement to the streets.
Puma becomes the first premium athletic wear brand that is an official sponsor of eSports.
Anna Boutchard (Strategy), Robert Blanton (Strategy), Victoria Nagel (Strategy)