Germany's Puma ousts Nike as Arsenal kit supplier

Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:25pm EST
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By Keith Weir

(Reuters) - German sportswear company Puma will become the kit supplier to English soccer club Arsenal from next season in a deal worth more than 30 million pounds ($50 million) a year to the Premier League leaders.

Puma has ousted U.S. group Nike which has provided Arsenal's red and white shirts for the past two decades.

The deal with Arsenal shows Puma's determination to re-establish itself as a core sports brand under new CEO Bjoern Gulden after moving more into lifestyle and fashion.

"Arsenal represents a major commercial and marketing opportunity to reinforce Puma's credibility as a global sports brand," Gulden said.

Puma, which supplies kit to German soccer club Borussia Dortmund and national teams including Italy, said it was aiming to establish itself as the clear number-three soccer brand behind market leaders Adidas and Nike.

Puma, majority owned by French luxury goods company Kering, warned in November that 2013 net profit would fall far below the 70 million euro ($96 million) figure in 2012.

Gulden denied that Puma had overspent to win the Arsenal deal.

"Our analysis shows this is a good deal for us," he told Reuters. "We are convinced that this is the best deal that we could do. It's the team that fits us, it's a good commercial deal and will bring a lot for our image."   Continued...