In an effort to revitalize its basketball sneaker category, Puma named Jay-Z its creative director on Monday, ESPN reported.
Jay-Z is expected to lead the creative direction for marketing campaigns, influence product design, and help scout NBA players and other celebrities for endorsement deals.
Puma has already signed three projected first-round NBA picks — Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Zhaire Smith — to multiyear endorsement deals, the first NBA endorsements for Puma in 20 years.
The brand also signed its first endorsed athlete, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, to a lifetime contract during a ceremony in New York earlier this week. Puma plans to relaunch its original 1973 Clyde sneaker with modern updates, including a knit construction.
“It’s clear that we’re looking at basketball through the lens of culture, and thinking about the fashion of basketball, the music of basketball — all the aspects of culture around basketball, all the aspects of culture around basketball as much as the on-court presence that we will have,” said Adam Petrick, Puma;s global director of brand and marketing.
Jay-Z has worked with Puma in the past. The company gave him sneakers and apparel to wear during his 4:44 tour in 2017, and the rapper’s sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, has had multiple clients across a range of sports sign endorsement deals with Puma. Rihanna, another client of the agency, became a brand creative director for Puma and has successfully launched a line of sneakers and clothing.