The Franconian sporting goods manufacturer Puma wants to catch up with the industry giants Adidas and Nike – especially in the USA. “We are number three globally and the gap to the two bigger ones is shrinking,” said Puma CEO Arne Freundt to “Welt am Sonntag” (WamS). “In the USA we had a difficult year and are currently number eight, which cannot and will not stay that way. The USA is not only a very important market, American athletes and artists influence people all over the world.” Puma therefore opened a design and development center in Hollywood.

Freundt is dissatisfied with the development of the Puma share price, which fell by up to 40 percent from the middle of 2023 to the beginning of 2024 and has since recovered slightly to recently reach 42 euros. The man in his mid-forties, who succeeded Bjørn Gulden at the top of Puma in 2023 after Bjørn Gulden, who unexpectedly left for his “neighbour” Adidas, also blames himself. “We have to recognize that I am a new face on the capital market. Trust in a CEO has to be there “I’m sure we have the right strategy.” Adidas and Puma are both based in Herzogenaurach near Nuremberg.

Not represented as supplier to the top teams at the European Football Championship

Freundt has no stance on the sensational planned change of the German Football Association’s (DFB) supplier from Adidas to Nike. “For me it’s emotionless,” he told the newspaper. “There was obviously a substantially better offer.” At the European Football Championship in Germany, Puma is not represented as a supplier to the top teams, but to various teams from the second and third row. “We have to be present at the international tournaments. But actually the players and club teams are a higher priority for us.”

The sports equipment manufacturer is also counting on the impact of the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, which achieved sales totaling 8.602 billion euros in 2023 (Adidas: 21.427 billion euros, Nike: the equivalent of 48.032 billion euros). The background is also the strong presence in athletics, said Freundt to WamS. The aim is to further expand the market position in the running sector.