Our eight strategic priorities continued to guide us in 2022: brand heat, product ranges that are right for our consumers, a comprehensive offer for women, improving the quality of our distribution, increasing the speed and efficiency of our organizational infrastructure, leveraging our re-entry into Basketball to improve our position in North America and to focus on local relevance and sustainability.
With a history of almost 75 years, PUMA has worked with the most famous and successful athletes in history to gain credibility as a sports brand and to create brand heat: Usain Bolt, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Pelé, Maradona, Tommie Smith, Boris Becker, Linford Christie, Serena Williams, Heike Drechsler and Martina Navratilova, are among the many sports legends PUMA has worked with over the years. Today, we also aim to partner with the most relevant and successful brand ambassadors of their generation. In football, PUMA works with star players such as Neymar Jr, Antoine Griezmann, Nikita Parris and Alexandra Popp, top football manager Pep Guardiola, and international top clubs such as Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Valencia CF, Olympique Marseille, AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven and Palmeiras São Paulo.
In track & field, we also have a roster of world class athletes, including Norwegian hurdler and world record holder Karsten Warholm, Canadian sprinter André De Grasse, Jamaican sprinters Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah, Italien high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi, as well as Swedish pole vault world record holder Mondo Duplantis.
Throughout the year, we signed several new track and field ambassadors such as Mutaz Essa Barshim, Abby Steiner and Emmanuel Korir. Our strategy paid off at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships in Munich, where our athletes won medals and set new records.
PUMA also generates brand heat by working with icons of culture and fashion, who are highly relevant for our target audience, such as Dua Lipa, Skepta, Winnie Harlow and Jay-Z.
In 2022, we significantly improved our product offering across all business units. Highlights included our Performance Footwear, especially the running styles VELOCITY and DEVIATE featuring our proprietary NITRO technology, which showed strong sell-through and won awards such as the Runner’s World Editor’s Choice Gold Medal.
To further strengthen our position in Running and Training, we introduced our SEASONS collection in the fall, a new range of outdoor items made to protect against the elements all year round.
In Teamsport, our innovative PUMA ULTRA and FUTURE as well as the classic KING football boots were very successful and gained market share throughout the year. For the World Cup in Qatar, we introduced our football boots in the colors of the “Fearless Pack”, which ensured great visibility on pitch.
With the introduction of the SLIPSTREAM in a global campaign that was supported by our most prominent ambassadors such as Neymar Jr, Danna Paola and Romeo Beckham, we launched a new Classics footwear franchise that will be a part of our product portfolio in the years to come.
In Apparel and Accessories we saw strong sell-through of our performance and Sportstyle products, including collaborations with partners such as AMI Paris, MCM, Palomo Spain, Vogue, Coca Cola, Pokemon, Garfield and Vogue.
Around the world, women increasingly participate in sports and sportswear has become an important part of fashion-conscious outfits everywhere. It is our strategic priority to provide a comprehensive product offer for our female consumers throughout our range and across all life stages, including modest wear, period activewear and maternity wear.
PUMA created bespoke national team home kits for the Women’s Euro to highlight our commitment to women’s football. Our players in the tournament, such as German forward Alexandra Popp and Icelandic midfielder Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir, received their FUTURE or ULTRA football boots in women’s specific fits in a special PUMA x LIBERTY design. In Basketball, we introduced a signature shoe for WNBA star Breanna “Stewie” Stewart, the first signature shoe for a female athlete in over a decade.
Our decision to reenter Basketball in 2018 has spurred our growth in the North American market in the past years. Following the sell-out success of the various versions of LaMelo Ball’s first signature shoe, MB.01, we added a second style, MB.02, in 2022. With various activations of our ambassadors and a strong line-up of Footwear, Apparel and Accessories, our Basketball business has become a strong and successful part of our product offering.
Basketball’s popularity in North America is an example how some sports can have a strong local relevance in certain regions. In other markets, PUMA is active in cricket, handball, rugby, padel or netball. While PUMA has a strong roster of global ambassadors and teams, we believe it is equally important to focus on the sports, trends, ambassadors, partners and platforms that are most relevant locally.
As part of this strategy, we empower local decision making, invest in regional creation centers in major markets, prioritize local-for-local sourcing and work with ambassadors and influencers such as Pamela Reif in Germany, Virat Kohli in India or Davido in Nigeria.
With our strategy to be flexible and service-oriented towards our retail partners, we improved the quality of our distribution and expanded our presence with leading sports performance and sportstyle accounts across the world. While product availability improved markedly in 2022, we prioritized our retail partners over our own Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) channels, whenever necessary. Our DTC business, which includes our owned-and-operated retail stores as well as our e-commerce business, also grew strongly in 2022. We opened new full price stores in large cities such as Singapore or Buenos Aires and rolled out our e-commerce store in the Philippines, Thailand, Peru, Norway, Saudi Arabia and several other new countries in the Middle East and Africa.
With our PUMA Shopping App, which debuted in 2022 in India, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, we give our most loyal consumers access to the latest PUMA products as well as exclusive services and brand content. We expect to roll out the PUMA Shopping App in additional markets in the coming quarters.
With the opening of new distribution centers and offices and our continued investment in our systems, we improved our infrastructure and processes in 2022. To support our future growth, we opened new warehouses around the globe, for example in Mexico, Dubai and Thailand. We made investments into a global SAP upgrade, product creation systems and additional 3D product creation capabilities. To expand our presence in local markets, we moved our teams in into new, modern offices, for example in Brazil, Chile and India.
Our sourcing strategy is based on long-term collaboration with our valued suppliers around the world. Working closely together with our sourcing partners helps us create a stable sourcing base, sell products with a consistent quality and support our future growth, while protecting us from a volatile global environment. The strong collaboration with our suppliers, who are mainly based in Asia, has contributed to a very resilient supply chain situation despite temporary lockdowns in some sourcing markets.
Our focus on sustainability as part of our FOREVER BETTER strategy continued as a strategic priority in 2022, as we aim to fully integrate sustainable practices into every aspect of our business. By 2025, we want to make nine out of ten products out of more sustainable materials such as certified cotton and leather or recycled polyester, compared to six out of 10 products in 2021.
We have pledged to reduce carbon emissions by what scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. In 2022, we announced that we had cut our own carbon emissions and those coming from our supply chain between 2017 and 2021, even though the business grew strongly in the same period.
To achieve this reduction, we purchased 100% renewable electricity through renewable electricity tariffs and renewable energy attribute certificates, we used more sustainable materials and made efficiency improvements at a factory level.
At our warehouse in Torrance, California, USA, for example, we started using fully electric trucks and we steadily increased the number of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in our global corporate fleet.
While more sustainable product lines such as RE:COLLECTION, which is made with recycled materials, were already on the shelves in 2022, we also educated our consumers about our experiments in recycling and biodegradability with the RE:JERSEY and RE:SUEDE projects. Our Conference of the People was also a part of this strong communication focus that is part of our strategy. Our sustainability efforts were recognized by the media, for example when Business of Fashion named PUMA the most sustainable brand in the industry or when we received the Footwear News Sustainability Leadership Award.