On December 16, 2014, PUMA announced that Rihanna had signed a multi-year partnership with the brand starting in January, 2015 to be PUMA global ambassador for Women’s Training and serve as the PUMA Women’s Creative Director, bringing her styling sensibilities and innovation to PUMA’s collections.
The same day, reports have surfaced that Kering, which also owns Volcom, and has vested interest in Kelly Slater’s Outerknown, has been gauging interest for the sale of the brand, which has had troubles over the past 5 years. Kering owns 86% of Puma, taking it over in 2007. Puma is estimated at $3.1 billion, but still falls behind the kingpins of Nike and Adidas.
Through the Rihanna partnership, PUMA and Rihanna will be taking a fresh, forward thinking and non-traditional approach to sports, fitness and lifestyle – fusing Rihanna’s personality, love of sports, spirit and style into the growing footwear and apparel segment.
Rihanna will also assume the role of PUMA’s Creative Director for the category, directly influencing product collections as early as 2015, and working in partnership with PUMA’s Internal Product Creation team. These collections will be designed with the goal of strengthening women in training sessions and beyond, and inspiring confidence in their bodies and themselves – the exact confidence for which Rihanna is so well known and celebrated. As part of her role, Rihanna will work with PUMA to design and customize classic PUMA styles as well as create new styles to add to the PUMA product portfolio.
Speaking about the new partnership with PUMA, Rihanna said: “It’s great to find a brand that celebrates strength and individuality. I couldn’t think of a more perfect partner to collaborate with as a creative director. I’m excited for you to see what Puma and I come up with.”
Rihanna will play a starring role in PUMA’s brand campaign, Forever Faster and be featured along with many of PUMA’s world-class athletes such as Usain Bolt and Sergio Aguero. PUMA and Rihanna will launch several fan activations throughout the partnership around the world such as consumer and retail events, training and fitness related social media content, and product programs.
Bjørn Gulden, CEO at PUMA commented: “Signing Rihanna is a fantastic step for PUMA. Her global profile, her charisma and individuality, her ambition – all these things make her a perfect ambassador for our brand. She also aligns perfectly with the values PUMA strives for: to be Confident, Brave, Determined and Joyful. With a strong portfolio in football, running and motorsport, finding an inspiring partner for women’s training was very important. Rihanna was a natural choice for us. We’re delighted to have her as a partner, and we’re looking forward to what’s to come.”