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Association With Cricket, Virat Kohli Helped Attain Market-Leading Position In India: Puma

Puma brand and products continue to resonate well around the world and see an increased need to focus on sports, ambassadors, influencers, collaboration partners and communication platforms that are most relevant in different markets.

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Puma reaps the benefit of association with cricket and brand ambassador Virat Kohli to post robust growth in India, the German sports apparel and footwear major said.

Its association with cricket, which is the most popular game in India, and long-term association with the Indian skipper have helped the company have a market-leading position in the country, said Puma in an earning statement on Wednesday.

Puma brand and products continue to resonate well around the world and see an increased need to focus on sports, ambassadors, influencers, collaboration partners and communication platforms that are most relevant in different markets.

“A good example is India, where we have a market-leading position in part due to our strong presence in the nation’s most popular sport, cricket, and our long-term partnership with Virat Kohli, the captain of the Indian national cricket team,” said Puma.

The company started its association with Virat Kohli in 2017.

Puma, which competes with brands as Adidas and Nike in the Indian market, was a late entrant in 2006 and now has become the leading player in the segment.

In 2019, Puma had posted revenue growth of 23 per cent to Rs 1,413 crore and established a clear cut lead over its nearest rival Adidas.

The company operates around 370 stores in India.

The Indian cricket skipper has launched his athleisure brand One8 in collaboration with Puma, which provides design, product, retail and communication channels for the brand.

One8 collections are available at Puma’s retail stores across the country and also on its e-commerce portal in.puma.com.

In the year 2020, Puma’s global sales fell 1.4 per cent to 5.23 billion euros due to the impact of COVID-19, especially in the second quarter, the company said.

“Gross profit margin declines to 47 per cent(last year: 48.8 per cent), mainly caused by negative currency impacts and more promotional activity, partially offset by positive distribution channel and regional mix effects,” it said.

Chief Executive Officer of Puma SE Bjørn Gulden said 2020 was a difficult year and the company has maneuvered through this crisis.

“The pandemic is unfortunately still here and impacting our business. We do expect the negative impact to continue through the first and parts of the second quarter but expect to see an improvement in the second half of the year. I am convinced that 2021 will be a better year for us than 2020,” he said.

(Reuters)