The German business opted against a marketing blitz in favour of a blend of real-time marketing and the appearance of brand ambassadors such as Mario Balotelli to get cut through during the cluttered World Cup period.
Puma’s pared-down strategy appears to have paid off with it claiming the brand had strong visibility during the event despite the multi-million pound efforts of rivals Adidas and Nike.
Popularity for the Italian, Chilean and African teams lead to increased sales for the Puma-produced kits. Apparel sales, which include football shirts and account for a more than a third of the company’s total business, jumped 6.2 per cent to €241m (£190.6m) in the three months to June.
Total sales declined 5.8 per cent to €652m (£515.8m) in the period but were up 0.6 per cent when adjusted for currency effects.
Bjørn Gulden, chief executive of Puma, says: “I was very happy with Puma’s visibility during the World Cup in Brazil. Feedback on both our dual-colored Tricks football boots and our national team jerseys with ACTV technology has been great. The sell-through of these products has been excellent and exceeded our expectations.
“But, as I have said all along: We know that the repositioning of PUMA and the turnaround of the business will take time. However, I feel we are making progress on all our key strategic priorities and we have initiated the right projects to make 2014 the start of the turnaround.”
The sales performance gives the brand’s upcoming “Forever Faster” drive to reestablish its performance credentials a steady platform to build demand from. It launches next week (7 August) across Europe and has been designed to support the brand through the 2016 Olympics and beyond.
Upcoming promotions will promote its new deal with Premier League Arsenal FC alongside Olympic and World 100m champion Usain Bolt.