Jay-Z joins Puma Basketball in high-profile role

As part of its aggressive commitment to relaunch its basketball sneaker category for the first time in 20 years, Puma on Monday announced that rapper and business mogul Jay-Z has been named to a high-profile role with Puma Basketball.

A Puma spokesperson told ESPN Monday afternoon that Jay-Z’s title would be president, but later clarified his title.

“I can confirm that according to his deal with Puma, Jay-Z’s official designation is Creative Director,” Adam Petrick, global director of marketing and brand for Puma, told ESPN. “I referred to him (earlier) today by an informal designation.”

In advance of this week’s NBA draft, Puma has already signed projected first-round picks Deandre AytonMarvin Bagley III and Zhaire Smith to multiyear footwear and apparel endorsement deals. The trio represents the first NBA endorsement deals for the brand in two decades. Puma last signed Vince Carterin 1998 to a 10-year deal, although the short-lived contract ended after just two seasons.

Jay-Z, whose given name is Shawn Carter, is expected to be leading brand creative direction for marketing campaigns, will have a voice on product and will also help to identify which upcoming NBA players and entertainers may be best suited for the brand to sign.

Before unveiling its new basketball sneaker this week, Puma signed its first signature athlete, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, to a lifetime contract earlier in an elaborate ceremony event in New York. The brand’s new silhouette is expected to be a modernized update to Frazier’s iconic, original Clyde sneaker from 1973, with a knit construction and today’s technology.

For more details: espn.com

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