At PUMA, we have a history of more than 70 years of moving sports and culture forward. Our archive offers a vast database from which our designers can draw inspiration when they create new styles. In 2021, one example of how we blend the new and the old came in the shape of the MAYZE, our newest franchise, which is selling very well.
Presented by pop superstar Dua Lipa, the MAYZE is ready to become the next PUMA classic and was launched in several colors and executions throughout the year, such as the MAYZE Classic and the MAYZE Chelsea, a twist on the classic Chelsea Boot.
We continued with our successful women’s franchise CALI and added a men’s model, the CA Pro. The RS franchise resonated well with consumers, with new versions of the RS-X and the RS-Z.
Our classics such as the PUMA SUEDE performed well in 2021, especially in North America, and we successfully re-introduced the SUEDE in kids’ sizes.
The SUEDE also played a major role in our collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist collective KIDSUPER STUDIOS. KIDSUPER won the prestigious Lagerfeld Prize, which is awarded to up-and-coming talents in the fashion industry.
Other successful collaborations in 2021 included a collection with London-based female fashion brand Liberty, which combined the brand’s iconic floral prints with PUMA’s most recognizable footwear styles.
We also teamed up with Australian skater brand Butter Goods for a 1990s-inspired collection, which featured high-quality materials and classic silhouettes, combined with sports-inspired graphics.
In 2021, we overhauled our line-up of running products and introduced our proprietary NITRO foam, following years of research and testing. Our new running range also included products specifically engineered for female runners, based on a brand-new last which was optimized for the female foot. The success of our athletes, such as US marathon runner Molly Seidel, underscored the performance of these products.
Together with Formula 1 team MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS, PUMA designed its fastest, lightest and most propulsive track & field spike ever as part of the FASTER+ program. The EvoSPEED Future FASTER+ spike was worn by Norwegian hurdler Karsten Warholm when he won the Gold medal and set a new 400m hurdles world record. Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse wore the EVOSPEED TOKYO FUTURE NITRO FASTER+ when he took the Gold medal in the 200m race. Technological advances from the FASTER+ program were also passed down and integrated into other track and field spikes.
In Teamsport, the innovative FUTURE franchise continued in 2021 with the new FUTURE Z, which was launched in January. In June, we designed a special version of the FUTURE for our ambassador Neymar Jr. ahead of the Copa America. In July, PUMA showed its commitment to women’s football by launching its ULTRA boots for the first time in both a Unisex and Women-specific fit, as part of its FASTER FOOTBALL campaign. Together with Neymar Jr., PUMA launched several Teamsport products throughout the year, including his first ever lifestyle collection. PUMA also introduced ULTRAWEAVE, a completely new performance apparel technology, which allowed us to create our lightest-ever football jersey.
In Golf, lifestyle-inspired golf apparel and footwear such as the GRYLBL, Arnold Palmer and Excellent Golfwear collections as well as the RS-G and Fasten8 shoes performed well. Additionally, collaborations with Kygo’s Palm Tree Crew created brand heat for PUMA Golf.
For COBRA Golf, the RADSPEED family was a commercial success, which also resonated well with the media. COBRA also launched two new putter families, the KING Vintage Series and the KING 3D Printed Series.
Our Motorsport offering for the first time included footwear co-created with our long-term partner Scuderia Ferrari. This marks the start of a new strategy for PUMA and Ferrari to enter the high-fashion segment. Our successful SPEEDCAT low-profile franchise was expanded this year with the introduction of the SPEEDCAT LS. Together with Red Bull Racing Honda driver Max Verstappen, we created a special edition of the SPEEDCAT PRO, which celebrated the return of Formula 1 to the Netherlands.
We also introduced several collections with a sustainability focus. Our RE.GEN collection was made with PUMA’s own industry waste and other recycled materials. Together with model, actress and activist Cara Delevingne, PUMA also created EXHALE, a yoga collection, which was made of at least 70% recycled polyester and for which PUMA offset all unavoidable CO2 emissions.
Research and product development at PUMA mainly comprise the areas of innovation (new technologies), product design and model and collection development. The research and product development activities range from the analysis of scientific studies and customer surveys through the generation of creative ideas to the implementation of innovations in commercial products. The activities in research and product development are directly linked to sourcing activities.
As of December 31, 2021, a total of 1,136 people were employed in research and development/ product management (previous year: 1,049). In 2021, research and development/ product management expenses totaled € 114.5 million (previous year: € 102.6 million), of which € 61.7 million (previous year: € 56.6 million) related to research and development.