-By Oriade Ayomide

Puma-arsenalPuma is fast declaring itself as the clear number 3 football brand as the company today announced its biggest deal ever by signing a contract to become the official kit partner of Arsenal football club effective from July 1, 2014. The kit company has also acquired wide-ranging licensing rights to develop other Arsenal branded merchandise on a global basis. Arsenal’s current deal with Nike dates back to 2003 and is worth around £8 million a year. The Puma contract is worth a basic £30 million a year; (£150M) within the next five years.

Puma and Arsenal will work together to bring further innovation into the sports brand’s performance apparel range. Both organisations will work collaboratively on a global strategy to drive mutual growth across all football markets, achieved through PUMA’s global sales network, international tours and integrated marketing activities.

Speaking on the partnership, Bjoern Gulden, chief executive officer for Puma said: “Arsenal have been a key strategic target for PUMA for a number of years now. Through a clear commercial vision, a well-defined sports marketing strategy and a relentless enthusiasm within the PUMA organisation, we’re proud to have signed this partnership with a truly global football club. As we enter a new era in our company history, Arsenal represents a major commercial and marketing opportunity to reinforce PUMA’s credibility as a global sports brand, and we have full confidence that the plans in place to activate this partnership will have a significant global impact.”

On his part, Chief Executive Officer of Arsenal Ivan Gazidis, said: “We are excited to be partnering with PUMA, a company whose football heritage and record of innovation have a strong affinity with our own. This represents another important step forward in Arsenal’s progression on and off the pitch.”

Puma deepened its relationship with the FIGC (Italian Football Federation), signed 2013 Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and has also bolstered its player portfolio with Sergio Aguero, Cesc Fabregas, Mario Balotelli, Radamel Falcao, Olivier Giroud and Yaya Toure among others.