- Puma has moved its $120 million media business from Publicis Media's Blue 449 to Havas, part of a broader pivot in strategy for the sportswear brand, Digiday reported. Puma wants to shift focus from the amount of media it buys for ads to more quality relationships with media owners. Adam Petrick, global director for brand and marketing, told Digiday that Puma isn't an "enormous global media buyer," which means an agency with a lot of raw buying power makes less sense.
- Vivendi, which owns Havas, also has proprieties including Universal Music Group, Dailymotion, the video game company Gamesloft and French TV network and movie producer Canal+ Group. This could create potential conflicts of interest for Vivendi but also opportunities for Puma, per Digiday. One example in the report said that guaranteed Canal+ sponsorships could act as a gateway to working with Lady Gaga on Dailymotion.
- Puma is projected to spend more than $100 million on measured media worldwide, according to MediaPost. Most of its ad budget is spent outside the U.S., where the brand spent $1.5 million last year and $500,000 in Q1 of this year, per Kantar Media data.
As competition in the sportswear market heats up and top brands like Nike and Adidas continue to dominate, Puma is rethinking its media strategy to focus on quality over quantity. The move comes as the brand has experienced some internal disruptions. Earlier this year, French company Kering SA spun off Puma as a separate company so that it could focus on its luxury labels.
Puma wants to invest more in sponsorships with athletes and celebrities, such as through its partnership with Rihanna, according to MediaPost. The musician has worked with the company as a brand ambassador and creative director for women's fashion since 2014. In June, Puma also tapped Jay-Z as the creative director of its basketball division to oversee strategy, marketing and product design amid a broader revamp of its basketball offerings.
These ambassador-focused campaigns with celebrities appear to be resonating with consumers. In April, Puma took the top spot for offline and word-of-mouth marketing in Engagement Labs' Total Social Brand Awards for Brand Sharing.
E-commerce is another area where the marketer is looking to build out its focus, according to Digiday. Rather than squarely growing its own site, however, the brand is working on landing better deals with retailers by using its customer data.
Programmatic is another function the company isn't considering taking in-house given how costs would measure up to its role in the media plan. Sixty-five percent of surveyed marketers purchasing digital ads programmatically have either moved those functions in-house or have started to, recent research from the IAB found.
Puma's selection of Havas as a partner comes at an interesting time. Havas is reportedly among the shops under scrutiny as part of a broader FBI investigation into the agency world's media-buying practices.