PUMA has announced they are relaunching their basketball division with JAY-Z as the president of operations. The German design company also signed top NBA prospects Deandre Ayton, Zhaire Smith and Marvin Bagley to be the faces of PUMA Basketball, according to Complex magazine.
“We’ve been working with Roc Nation for quite some time. They’ve been great partners to us for several years. We’ve done many different deals with many different ambassadors,” Adam Petrick, PUMA’s global director of brand and marketing, told Complex. Petrick also shared that the Brooklyn native felt the opportunity “was something he wanted to be a part of,” when he was approached about the position.
The publication reports the rap mogul’s job description will include design input, athlete relationships and “overall concept and direction of the brand.”
Petrick says what’s relevant to JAY-Z, “is that it’s clear we’re making a serious push with players like Bagley and Ayton and Smith.”
He continued: “We’re making a serious statement about the entry of the category that we want to be a performance brand, but then also very culturally focused. It’s clear that we’re looking at basketball through the lens of culture, and thinking about the fashion of basketball, the music of basketball, all the aspects of culture around basketball as much as the on-court presence that we will have.”
After the June 2017 release of Hov’s 13th studio album, 4:44, there was speculation of a deal with PUMA. In July of last year, custom sneakers commemorating the project hit the internet furthering rumors of a potential partnership.
This will not be the first time JAY-Z has worked with a sneaker company. He released the S. Carter sneaker with Reebok in the early 2000’s.