If the partnership is realized, Sterling would become PUMA’s highest-paid footballer and the face of its global advertising strategy. The Herzogenaurach-based brand already has a 10-year deal in place as Man City’s official kit supplier said to be worth around £650,000,000 ($809,000,000), and it recently added the club’s manager, Pep Guardiola, to its client portfolio. Sergio Agüero, David Silva, and Oleksandr Zinchenko are other City names on the PUMA roster.
That Sterling would prove an attractive proposition to PUMA is unsurprising. Since joining City from Liverpool in the summer of 2015, the Jamaican-born star has gone on to establish himself as one of the world’s best attackers, winning a haul of individual and team awards while establishing himself as a key player at international level. Away from the pitch, Sterling is a leading figure in football’s fight against racism, with some even labeling him “the most significant sportsman in the UK.” The 25-year-old’s commercial value is already underscored by endorsements with mega-brands such as Pepsi, Gilette, and H&M.
The news comes not only as a blow to Nike, but the likes of Under Armour, New Balance, and adidas, who have been courting Sterling as his deal with the Swoosh winds down.
Intriguingly, JAY-Z is currently serving as PUMA’s creative director, meaning a collaboration between the pair is not out of question.