After months of rumors that Puma would be reviving its long defunct basketball division, the speculation has been confirmed with signings of big name draft prospects Marvin Bagley III and Deandre Ayton. The latest news out of the Puma camp is that Jay Z will taking over as a creative consultant to mark the official relaunch of Puma Basketball.
"We've been working with Roc Nation for quite some time. They've been great partners to us for several years," Puma's global director of brand and marketing Adam Petrick told Complex.
Hov's new role will include assisting in art design and the overall direction of the brand going forward. Petrick 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."
The latest big announcement comes on the heels of news that likely number one pick in this week's NBA Draft Deandre Ayton would also be signing a multi-year deal with Puma Basketball.
While Puma has remained a player in the lifestyle and performance running divisions over the years, its last foray into the world of performance basketball was back in 1998 when it signed then Toronto Raptors' superstar Vince Carter as its main representative. Most notably, Puma's basketball brand birthed the Puma Clyde, the low-top famously worn by New York Knicks legend, Walt "Clyde" Frazier. To celebrate the reincarnation of Puma Basketball, the brand has signed Frazier to a lifetime contract and released a limited run of 73 special edition Puma Clydes at its Puma HQ location in New York City.