Yesterday, it was announced by Complex that rapper Jay-Z who’s currently on tour with his wife would be joining Puma as the President of Puma Basketball. That news was quickly debunked by ESPN‘s Darren Rovell who said the contract Jay-Z signed was actually to become a Creative Director.
Regardless of Jay-Z’s title within the company, this is the fastest possible way to take a fringe brand like Puma Basketball and IMMEDIATELY become relevant. Thus far, it has worked. Shortly after news broke that Jay-Z was signing with the company it was revealed that projected #1 overall NBA Draft pick Deandre Ayton had signed multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with Puma. Fellow top NBA draft pick Marvin Bagley III who’s expected to go 2nd in the NBA draft also signed a multi-year multi-million dollar contract with Puma.
So, now we know why Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III were so keen to sign with Puma. It’s no coincidence that these two overlapping news stories broke on the same day. Here’s how the Jay-Z news broke:
Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III are the first major basketball players to sign with Puma Basketball since 1998. This is clearly a HUUUUUUGE loss for Nike who appears to have tried to woo Bagley and his father over the years:
But wait, there’s more….
Imagine if Puma Hoops grabs another player in this NBA Draft. They suddenly go from not being in the game at all to skyrocketing back into relevance in one fell swoop. It’s amazing.