2019 was the year in which PUMA’s business unit Basketball PUMA Hoops became a household name in basketball again.
Between major player signings, new silhouette drops, an official partnership with the NBA and the brand’s presence at the biggest cultural and sporting events, PUMA Hoops became the biggest disrupter on and off the court last year.
PUMA launched the brand’s second basketball silhouette Uproar to coincide with NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte. PUMA Hoops and Uproar became the buzz of Queen City that couldn’t be ignored. We brought the heat with an activation space that boasted a customization bar in collaboration with Chinatown Market, on-site basketball challenges with our Hoops roster including Danny Green, DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley and Kevin Knox, and post-game performances by PUMA talent including Rapsody, A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, YBN Cordae and Yo Gotti. As an encore, ambassador J. Cole rocked his own PUMAs courtside and during his halftime show.
The spring of 2019 saw the return of one of basketball’s most legendary names – Ralph Sampson. The 7’4” center terrorized the NBA in the 80s, all while wearing his signature PUMAs. In honor of Ralph and the legacy he left, we brought back the PUMA Ralph Sampson, complete with a sleek, ’80s, all while inspired silhouette and Ralph’s signature stamped on the side. A perfect pair of kicks to rock on the streets, PUMA Ralph Sampson has already become an instant classic for the brand.
PUMA Hoops stole the show at the 2019 ComplexCon. Hosted in Chicago, this was the first time that the preeminent festival for culture, music, art and style took place outside of Long Beach, so PUMA Hoops had to go big or go home. We dropped jaws with huge exhibitions that featured the Legacy, a true performance staple inspired by the brand’s sports heritage and built for the next generation of hoops players. We hosted NBA2K gaming stations, on-site customization and even a dunk contest held on our custom PUMA Hoops court. PUMA Hoops ambassadors like DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Katie Lou Samuelson, Gunna and DaniLeigh were on hand to take our experience above anything else at ComplexCon.
2019 was a big year for the PUMA Hoops family. We made waves with the addition of six new ambassadors, including the #1 draft pick in the WNBA Jackie Young, as well as RJ Barrett, Kyle Kuzma, Kevin Porter Jr., Katie Lou Samuelson, and Marcus Smart. We’re not known for doing things quietly, so we announced these signings in the most PUMA ways possible, with events on LA’s Fairfax Ave., pop-up food trucks outside of Madison Square Garden, humor-driven videos on social and everything in between.
In season two of PUMA Hoops, we introduced the Clyde Hardwood, a shoe that turns heads on and off the court. To officially unveil the newest addition to the Clyde franchise, PUMA Hoops hosted a Fireside Chat in NYC that featured current New York Knicks Stars RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox and the legend himself, Walt “Clyde” Frazier to talk basketball history, PUMA Hoops, and of course the Clyde Hardwood. On launch day, we organized a King of the Court basketball tournament and dunk contest at the Brooklyn Bridge Park on a pop-up floating basketball court overlooking the NYC skyline. All of our athletes debuted the Hardwood on court for the start of the season, RJ Barrett rocked them in the Jahnkoy Fashion Show during Fashion Week in NYC and J.Cole leaked the new silhouette during several training runs with Chris Brickley.