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FastTrack

“FOREVER. FASTER. SEE THE GAME LIKE WE DO” – Usain Bolt, speed as a ‘mindset,’ and Jack Grealish. Why PUMA thinks a new “single message” branding slogan will turbocharge its business.

Speed is a mindset. Speed is not about how fast you can run, but how fast you can think.

9.58 seconds. That is the fastest time Usain Bolt ever ran 100m. 120 metres per second. That’s the fastest a human being can think. The speed at which electrical signals travel along the axons of our neurons, the cells that make up the brain and nervous system.

And “Speed is a mindset. Speed is not about how fast you can run, but how fast you can think,” says Bolt – a PUMA brand ambassador for twenty years. So, according to the world’s greatest sprinter, the two numbers are connected.

Now, Matte Projects, the brand’s ultra-hip New York marketing agency, have put Bolt’s philosophy at the heart of the Herzogenaurach company’s ambitious new marketing strategy.

“For the fastest, the game moves slower, the playing field looks bigger, next plays are anticipated, and moments for victory are created,” says the agency.

Matte have encapsulated the thought in a carefully crafted addition to PUMA’s tried and tested ‘Forever. Faster,’ positioning. Which now reads : ‘FOREVER. FASTER. See the game like we do.’

The campaign, notes Marketing Week, ‘marks PUMA’s “biggest marketing investment ever,” aimed at positioning PUMA as the “fastest brand in the world” in terms of how its products help athletes achieve high performance.’

Vice-president for brand and global marketing at PUMA, Richard Teyssier, told the magazine that it’s the “first time that PUMA has one single message” in its marketing across all categories, from football and running to basketball and handball.

Launching in advance of the Euros, ads will run across TV, social media, outdoor, PR and point-of-sale all across the world. They feature elite athletes including footballers Luis Suárez, Jack Grealish, and Neymar, alongside the sprinter Shericka Jackson and basketball player Breanna Stewart.

As Reuters reports, “PUMA's shares have lagged Nike and Adidas over the past year, dragging the company's valuation down.” So, PUMA’s single message ‘elevation’ of the brand is part of an ambitious three-pronged business strategy to address that. As they put it: “The core of our strategy is to elevate the PUMA brand, further enhance our product excellence, and improve the quality of our distribution.”

Multiple creative executions evoke the Matrix-like powers of the greatest athletes. The ability they have – even in the highest-pressure environments – to slow the game down and execute perfect decisions.

Matte Projects again, ‘Seeing the game different’ is a kind of superpower. For athletes, PUMA unlocks a faster perspective of the game that reveals new dimensions of athlete performance.’

Obviously, its customers can’t outrun the likes of Usain Bolt. But, PUMA imply, with practice, they can match Bolt’s speed of thought.

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