How’s PUMA these days?
Fun. A lot of people like what we are doing as a brand. So we are busy trying to keep them guessing about what’s coming next from PUMA.
What's your background with the company?
I’m the Global Director of Brand Management for PUMA. I started in 1994 as a consultant and then a category manager for footwear. At that point in time my job was to keep kids diggin’ on the brand, to capture the youth culture consumer and make products for them, which developed into our Sportlifestyle range at PUMA.
The relationship between PUMA and Walt Frazier has been an amazing and enduring one. In 1968, the PUMA State is first released, was it the first PUMA basketball shoe?
In the late Sixties, PUMA launched the Suede. The shoe made its first appearance on the world stage during the 1968 Olympics when US athlete Tommie Smith, gold medal winner of the 200m Men’s Final, took the podium. We then took the Suede and modified the shoe for Walt Frazier’s specifications and renamed it the ‘Clyde’ after Frazier’s nickname (in reference to Bonnie and Clyde for the way he stole the ball on the court). This marked PUMA’s foray into basketball.
Then in 1973, Walt Frazier signs with PUMA and the State/Basket is renamed. Was Clyde the first athlete endorsed by PUMA?
No, we had sponsored many athletes prior to Walt Frazier. Those sponsorships date as far back as 1948 when PUMA was founded.
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