Global sneaker giant PUMA has announced that basketball player LaMelo Ball, anticipated to be among the top three picks in the upcoming National Basketball Association draft, has just signed a long-term partnership with them. The top 2020 NBA prospect will serve as a brand ambassador both on and off the court.
“I am really excited to be joining the PUMA family,” said LaMelo Ball in a written statement. “I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because PUMA will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100% authentic, whether that’s playing basketball or showing off my personal style, and that’s what I want to do with PUMA.”
“LaMelo’s physical gifts and dynamic play on the court, as well as his unique sense of personal style, make him a natural fit for PUMA,” said Adam Petrick, global director of Brand and Marketing at PUMA. “We are thrilled to add him to our roster of talented athletes and at just 19 years old, we can’t wait to see his impact on the broader culture surrounding basketball.”
PUMA will be collaborating with Ball to create products that will incorporate PUMA’s culture-first approach, which is blurring the lines between sports, culture, music, and fashion. There is already product set up to launch, a PUMA x LaMelo Ball T-shirt and hoodie set that is timed to be released on Nov. 18, which coincides with the 2020 NBA Draft.
“I don’t know what normal is. I personally chose a different path to achieve my success because that defines who I am,” said Ball. “I know some people think I am mysterious or ‘not from here,’ and I might have to agree. I am someone who likes to be different and consider myself to be one of one. That’s the message I want to share in my upcoming projects with PUMA.”
PUMA also will be teaming up with Ball to support various giveback programs that will encourage youth to stay active through basketball skill camps, equipment and clothing donations, court refurbishments, and more.