Basketball Fashion Trends

Puma signs Grammy-winning artist J.Cole for footwear and apparel deal

By Fabrice Pierre-Toussaint

Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local | See my LinkedIn

 

 

According to Billboard, Puma has reached out to J.Cole to be the latest PUMA ambassador. The iconic sports apparel giant announced on Thursday February 13 that they agreed to terms on a multi-year partnership with the Dreamville leader. With Cole onboard, they have major plans in store for 2020. “Our partnership with Cole is deep-rooted,” said Adam Petrick, PUMA’s global director of brand and marketing. “Cole’s involved in product creation, marketing campaigns and cultural guidance. He is going to be a key player in many of the things we do at PUMA moving forward and we’re excited to work with him not only on a product level but even more importantly as one of our athletes. Cole sits at the intersection of music and sport and represents everything that PUMA stands for as a brand.” 

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Simultaneously occurring with the deal announcement, PUMA is releasing their Sky Dreamer, the brand’s newest basketball silhouette, which also hits PUMA and Footlocker shelves starting on Thursday as well. The reimagined Sky Dreamer brings back an 80s PUMA classic with a retail price of $130. Cole has been spotted in the white sneaker out in public on multiple occasions. Cole is teaming up with PUMA for a short film to tell his story and connection to the brand, which will debut during Sunday’s February 16 NBA All-Star Game on TNT. Cole puts his tenacity on display, as he succeeded through many of the challenges life threw at him while climbing the rap ladder.

Not surprising to many of his fans, J.Cole appeared in a basketball themed publicity. The rapper has projects with names inspired by the sport “Friday Night Lights” and “The Warm Up”, played on his high school team and tried out as a walk-on in college for St. John’s University. He joins a complete Puma ambassador roster featuring fellow musicians Yo Gotti and Meek Mill, as well as other celebrities such as Cara Delevingne and Adriana Lima. 

 

Even though music artists and sportswear giants partnering together is not new; for example Kanye collaborating with Adidas for years, Travis Scott partnering with Nike and Jordan creating highly anticipated sneakers. Yet, when it comes to J.Cole and Puma, the significant difference is the Grammy-nominated rapper is the face of Puma Basketball, an exciting move considering Cole is not an NBA athlete. 

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Cole most likely will join the likes of young NBA up-and-coming stars RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks and Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers, who themselves signed deals with the brand in 2019. Cole did have some experience on the hardwood though. Cole was a walk-on player for the Division I men’s basketball program at St. John’s University in New York City. Despite being good enough to make the team, Cole decided to focus on music instead of a career in sports. The model will not only be worn by Cole but also by some of Puma’s athletes.

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