MANILA -- Members of the men’s national football team Azkals will be given a chance to strut their stuff in the runway after being chosen as the new endorsers of German sportswear company Puma in the Philippines.
Details of the fashion show are still being ironed out, Puma's local distributor Cougar Athletic Trends Inc. (Cati) said, but this might take place as soon as the official team kit apparel and equipment line will be available in August.
Puma will also be the official provider for replica kits, fanwear, and other merchandise with Azkals members Ian Araneta, Misagh Bahadoran and Carli de Murga as lead ambassadors of the brand known for its dog and cat logos.
“We're looking at that when the team kit is ready, so that's around August. But we're doing a fashion show in Greenbelt (Makati) to present the official team kit (for home and away games) and some lifestyle products that will be endorsed by our ambassadors,” Cati assistant vice president for sales and marketing Maria Theresa Ronquillo-Santos told Sun.Star.
After becoming a household name two years ago, the Azkals have received a number of commercial endorsements for food, cars, sports drink, and men’s apparel products. Prominent members James and Phil Younghusband and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge also graced covers of some magazines.
“The Azkals have been a legend in Philippine football. They've done so many changes in the way people perceive the sport. And now people look at it as fun and exciting unlike before when we cannot even fill up a stadium,” Santos said, adding it was the first time for Puma to sponsor a national football team in Asia Pacific.
Locally, Puma has 11 brand stores scattered in major cities such as Manila, Cebu, Bacolod, Davao and Cagayan de Oro while it also has shops located in some department stores.
Puma, the world’s third largest sports apparel, has been in competition with German firm Adidas and United States-based Nike for over six decades.
After Adidas bagged the exclusive marketing deal for the London Olympics, Puma turned to football sponsorships particularly the upcoming Euro 2012 to weather the effects of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, Reuters said in a report last May 31.
Global sales are expected to hit 4 billion euros or roughly $5 billion by 2015 but still a far cry to Adidas’ $21.4 billion and Nike’s $28-$30 billion by the same year. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)