Puma is one of the top athletic shoe brands. As a result of this, they sponsor some of the most famous athletes in the world. This article takes a look at the most famous Puma athletes, including stars from the NBA, WNBA, and the track.
Puma athletes: Most famous athletes sponsored by Puma
While they do not have the budget of companies like Nike, Puma has still managed to have big name athletes as sponsors for decades.
Here are just some of the big name athletes sponsored by Puma.
#10: Walt Frazier
The first big name athlete that signed with Puma is Walt Frazier.
Frazier spent his career playing with the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers during the late 60s through the early 80s. He is a two time NBA champion, seven time All-Star, six time All-NBA player, seven time All-Defensive team member, and a Hall of Famer.
As a result of when he played, Frazier initially did not make much money from the deal with Puma. However, after a continued business relationship between Puma and Frazier, they reached a lifetime deal.
Frazier and Puma had to take big risks to break into the market that they did. Frazier was the first NBA athlete that had a shoe endorsement.
Without this deal, it is possible that players having their own shoes may have never happened.
#9: Alex English
Like Frazier, Alex English was one of the first Puma sponsored athletes. He played from the mid 70s to the early 90s.
During his career, he was a scoring champion, a three time member of an All-NBA team, an right time All-Star, and a Hall of Famer.
English came into play with Puma after Frazier retired. He was one of the faces of the Puma Sky II.
When he signed with Puma, his team played a fast paced and high flying brand of basketball. This made for a great face of a basketball shoe.
Pairing this with the elite scoring ability of English, it made for him to be the perfect partner for Puma.
#8: Skylar Diggins-Smith
Skylar Diggins-Smith is a four time All-Star and one of the biggest names in the WNBA.
Although she does not quite have the accolades that one would look for in a big name sponsor, Diggins still has a lot of career in front of her.
She has only been playing professionally for seven seasons, and when it is all said and done, she will likely be a Hall of Famer.
Diggins made a daring jump to get with Puma. She was previously signed with shoe juggernaut Nike, however, she decided that she would rather be a brand ambassador for Puma and she is now a member of the Puma team.
#7: Ralph Sampson
Ralph Sampson is one of the top big men that the game has ever seen.
He was a four time All-Star, Rookie of the Year, a member of the All-NBA team, and a Hall of Famer.
Injuries derailed his career, however, he signed with Puma early in his professional career. In his first four seasons in the league, he was an All-Star every year.
He showed incredible promise as soon as he entered the NBA and if it was not for injuries, he could have been in the conversation for best big man of all time.
He earned one of the first signature shoes for an NBA player in a deal that he signed for $400,000 from 1984-1989.
#6: Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau is one of the up and coming names in golf.
He turned professional in 2016 and already has 10 professional wins.
DeChambeau has a line of hats along with shoes in his deal with Puma. If he continues his great run in the PGA, he will likely remain the face of Puma in terms of golf throughout the rest of his career. DeChambeau’s Puma products can be found here.
#5: Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler was one of the biggest name on the PGA Tour a few years back.
However, after a little bit of regression, he has lost some name value. He started his professional sports career as a motocross racer.
Fowler was the number one amateur golfer for 36 weeks in 2007 and 2008. He reached his peak of 4th in the world in professional rankings in 2016.
#4: DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins at one time was the best center in the NBA.
However, after a tragic string of injuries, he has struggled to stay on the court. Cousins is a four time All-Star and a two time member of the All-NBA team.
While he was on the Golden State Warriors, Puma made him an offer that he accepted. Nike was given the opportunity to match the deal, however, they neglected to do so.
#3: Isiah Thomas
During the era of Isiah Thomas’s peak, Puma was losing steam in the NBA.
Instead, Nike and Converse were the big names in basketball shoes. This changed when Thomas left Converse and signed with Puma.
Thomas was one of the faces of the “Bad Boy Pistons”.
Detroit was a team that branded themselves on playing an overly physical brand of basketball that was described as some as “dangerous” and “bad for the game”. During his career, Thomas was a twelve time All-Star, one time assist leader, two time NBA champion, one time Finals MVP, five time All-NBA member, and a Hall of Famer.
Thomas was one of the best during his era and did amazing things for Puma.
#2: Vince Carter
Vince Carter signed a massive deal with Puma early in his NBA career. It’s one of the biggest Puma contracts of all-time. Carter carried the brand through the 2000s.
He was a fan of the shoes and wore Ralph Sampson’s Pumas during high school. During his rookie season, Carter signed a 10 year, $50 million deal.
However, while he carried the Puma brand, Carter was also one of the main reasons why the brand shut down in the NBA.
He decided to make a deal with Nike that led Puma to take Carter to court for a breach of contract. The business relationship between Carter and Puma was effectively killed in this and they did not have another big name sponsor in the NBA until 2018.
#1: Usain Bolt
The most famous athlete signed to Puma is Usain Bolt. Bolt, during his prime, was the fastest man on the planet.
He signed with Puma in 2003, only being 16 years of age at the time.
It is claimed that this deal was the “largest ever” and was reportedly worth £20 million over ten years.
During his deal with Puma, Bolt made a name for himself and became known by almost every single person in the world.
His otherworldly speed in the Olympics made him must watch television to see what he would do next whenever he competed.
For customers in the UK, Puma is currently offering free shipping for orders over £45. At the time of writing, discounts are also available if you sign up to their newsletter – browse the latest Puma products here.