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Puma adds CAF to growing ball supplier portfolio



Sporting goods company Puma has continued its aggressive ball supplier acquisition strategy by signing as the official technical partner of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The agreement starts in November 2023 and will see Puma supply the official match ball at CAF tournaments, including the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Ivory Coast. It will also provide the kit for referees and hold marketing rights inside and outside the host venues.

Puma takes over the CAF ball supplier rights from Umbro, which held the equivalent rights at both the 2019 and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

While the CAF agreement is Puma’s only ball supplier deal at continental federation level, it comes in the wake of numerous deals at national league level, reflecting Puma’s commitment to its football business.

Puma has been the ball supplier to Spain’s LaLiga since the 2019-20 season and became the official match ball supplier for the English Football League, which represent the three tiers of professional football below the Premier League, from 2021-22. The latter deal was extended to the end of the 2026-27 season last month.

Puma also holds the official match ball provider rights to the Italian football league Serie A, starting from the 2022-23 season, and this year become the new official match ball provider to the Scottish Professional Football League and the Scottish Women’s Premier League from the 2023-24 season.

In June, Puma agreed a long-term deal to become the new official ball supplier to Liga Portugal, from the 2023-24 season, while a report in The Athletic indicated that Puma was set to take over from Nike as the Premier League‘s official match ball supplier after the 2024-25 season.

The company has not referred to its ball supplier acquisitions in recent quarterly reports. However, it is indicative of a wider ‘brand elevation’ strategy in football.

Puma chief executive Arne Freundt said in in a recent analysts call following its fiscal 2023 interim results that only six years ago Puma held a mid-single [digit percentage] market share in the football boot market. In Europe, he said, “We are now trending somewhere around 16 to 18 per cent of market share. And that was a market which was dominated only by two brands [Nike and Adidas].”

Puma has a long history of supporting African national teams and recently supplied kit for the Morocco team that reached the 2022 World Cup semi-finals.

Earlier this week, the IMG agency was selected by CAF to sell sponsorship packages to its major competitions until 2025 following a recent Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

In April, CAF began its search for a global sponsorship sales agency when it issued an RFP process coverings its competitions across the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons.

Historically, CAF’s media and sponsorship rights were sold by Lagardère Sports – now known as Sportfive – but the governing body cancelled its 12-year, $1bn (€950m) contract with the agency in 2019. The deal had been extended to 2028 before the termination.

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Marketing & Sponsorship

MTN Vows More Support For Nigeria’s Super Falcons




Official telecoms partner of the Nigeria Football Federation, MTN has pledged to keep supporting and appreciating the senior women national team, Super Falcons as the fabulous ladies continue to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians.

At a reception in honour of the nine-time African champions, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Thursday night, Adia Sowho, who is the telecom behemoth’s chief marketing officer, hailed the team for its consistency and sterling on-field and off-field attributes, saying they do so much to bring honour to Nigeria every now and then.

Sowho regaled the auditorium with the various feats of the elegant Falcons, and stated that MTN remains proud of its identity with the team. She challenged them to keep winning and soaring, assuring that MTN will be with them all the way.

Sports Development Minister, Senator John Owan Enoh noted that the Falcons have been giving Nigerians joy and urged MTN to continue to support the team as it undertakes greater tasks and seeks to climb higher hurdles.

President of NFF, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, described MTN as “one of our biggest partners” and praised the company for its consistency in support of football. “The Super Falcons are the most successful national team and they deserve all the accolades. In their last two matches, they have scored nine goals to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians. I believe they will go to Cape Verde and finish the job brilliantly, and we also have confidence in them to earn the Olympic ticket this time, after our country missed the last three Women Olympic Football Tournaments.

“Last year, they could not even make the podium at the Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco. But they put that adversity behind them and rose to impress the world at the FIFA World Cup. I believe they are ready for the challenge of reclaiming the African title in the same North African country next year.”

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi thanked MTN for its support for various levels of football, and assured that the Super Falcons have the mettle to overcome upcoming on-field challenges and perhaps dazzle better at the Olympics in Paris than they did at the World Cup in Down Under.

The company afterwards presented gifts to the players and their officials.

MTN’s team also included Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru (Director); Idowu Adesokan (GM, Consumer Marketing); Osaze Ebuaku (Senior Manager, Go-t-Market) and Anas Galadima (Senior Manager, Public Affairs).

Also in NFF’s team were Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Chairman, Marketing Committee); Babatunde Akinsanya (Director of Finance); Ademola Olajire (Director of Communications); Ruth David (Ag. Director of Competitions); Dayo Enebi Achor (Head of International) and; Alizor Chuks (Head of Marketing and Sponsorship).

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Norwich City FC announce Dino’s Famous as official club partner




The English football club, Norwich City FC have announced a partnership with the American Street food chain, Dino’s Famous.

As per the arrangement, Dino’s Famous has been named the official club partner of the Canaries.

The deal between the two entities will allow the American brand to serve its special Brooklyn Big Dogs at the club’s home turf, Carrow Road Stadium during every matchday.

Dino’s stacker pickles, crispy fried onions, classic American mustard, and Brooklyn Burner ketchup will be served with the hotdogs in the “Dress the Dog” version.

Mat Potter, Managing Director at Dino’s Famous, commented, “I believe fans deserve the best hot dog experience when supporting their football club and this partnership means that Norwich fans can try our award-winning Brooklyn Big Dog within Carrow Road. I am looking forward to working with Norwich City to help find more ways to enhance the stadium experience for fans.”

Ed Turnham, Norwich City’s Head of Sales and Acquisitions, commented, “Dino’s Famous already supply to a number of venues across the UK, however they are only partnered with a handful of sporting clubs. It’s therefore a privilege that the brand has chosen to partner with Norwich City. The Dino’s Famous Big and Little Dogs can be found at retailers ranging from Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, so it’s also exciting that our supporters can now purchase a fully loaded dog at Carrow Road for the next three seasons.”

Sean Crisford, Stadium Bars and Kiosks Manager at Norwich City, said, “We are delighted to be working with Dino’s Famous. Their Brooklyn-inspired hot dogs are made from high quality ingredients and they are industry leading products. By bringing Dino’s to Carrow Road, it allows us to serve high quality products from our kiosks to enhance the Carrow Road fan experience.”

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Bundesliga International, CFA launch “Bundesliga Dream” to prosper Chinese rising football talents




The Bundesliga International has signed a partnership with the Chinese governing body for football, the Chinese Football Association (CFA).

Following the deal, both entities have launched “Bundesliga Dream” which will help to prosper rising football talents in China.

Through this agreement, the talented Chinese players from the U16 national team will have the chance to practice at the development academies of many Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs, as well as play against youth teams from throughout Germany, during this event, which is scheduled for February–March 2024.

Together with the Bundesliga and the participating clubs, the CFA has developed a unique training regimen that all players will follow. The training highlights several critical in-game scenarios, such as transitioning from attack to defensive.

Peer Naubert, Bundesliga International Chief Marketing Officer, said, “For almost 30 years, the Bundesliga has been a part of Chinese football culture: it was one of the first European leagues to be broadcast in China, and over the years it has welcomed some of China’s greatest players. With the launch of Bundesliga Dream China, we are offering players a chance to experience the best of German youth development, and hopefully creating a long-term pathway that could lead to more Chinese players succeeding in Germany.”

Song Kai, President of the CFA, stated, “With the German system at the forefront of youth development, the Bundesliga Dream project is anticipated to provide our young players and coaches with abundant opportunities for international exchange and learning.

He also added, “Achieving success is a gradual journey, necessitating perseverance and dedication from the professionals in the youth football sector. Their patient and resolute efforts are pivotal in contributing to the development of football in China, ensuring a stable and substantial growth trajectory for the sport.”

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