Mumbai: Sports brand Puma India today announced Indian women’s cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur as its latest brand ambassador. Harmanpreet was onboarded over a very unique and intriguing social experiment that uncovered the country’s overall mindset towards gender perception in sports.
On Saturday, the brand posted a cryptic teaser video of a player taking position at the stumps and quizzed the audience to guess Puma’s next brand ambassador. Puma tracked consumer comments on Instagram and Twitter, its native shopping platform Puma.com, and retail stores.
According to the 5,000 responses collected over 36 hours, 80 per cent of the consumers surprisingly assumed the brand ambassador to be a male cricketer.
Earlier today, Puma followed up with a video that revealed Harmanpreet as its new brand ambassador, thereby breaking moulds, busting archetypes, and creating a strong culture for women in cricket and overall sport.
She joins a roster that consists of some of the greatest names from the world of sports, including batting legend Virat Kohli, champion sprinter Usain Bolt, football stars Neymar Jr. and Sunil Chhetri, celebrated boxer MC Mary Kom, cricketer Harleen Deol, and para-shooter Avani Lekhara. The sports fraternity, especially Puma’s ambassadors, came in full support of Harmanpreet’s grand entry and welcomed her with special messages on social media.
The 33-year-old dashing batter from Punjab has the record of the fourth fastest women’s T20I hundred in the world to her name, and she is also India’s only centurion in the women’s T20I. She has scored six international hundreds so far in her career, five of them in ODIs. The most capped player in the T20I format has also been conferred the Arjuna Award in 2017.
"We are delighted to welcome skipper Harmanpreet Kaur into the Puma family. The way she plays — bold and fierce cricket—she is the perfect fit for our brand, which embodies the same qualities and ethos. As a brand, Puma has always stayed ahead of the times and committed to support, celebrate and empower women in sports. This association is a massive step in that direction. Kaur is a sporting icon and, with this partnership, we hope to inspire younger generations and help Indian women’s cricket reach greater heights," said Puma MD, India and Southeast Asia Abhishek Ganguly.
As part of the partnership terms, she will endorse the brand’s footwear, apparel and accessories through multiple activities and campaigns throughout the year.
"Not many know that I hit my first ODI century in 2013 in a pair of Puma boots that I received as a token of support in my early years by the brand. Exactly a decade now and I have been roped in as the face of Puma. I am thrilled to join the biggest sports brand in the country with a star-studded roster. It’s heartening to see a brand such as Puma support the growth of Indian women’s cricket; it’s crucial for bolstering the progress. This is just the beginning and I am sure this association will encourage a lot of women who dream to make a career in cricket. I look forward to an exciting journey ahead," she said.
Puma has been actively contributing to the rise of sports culture in the country by associating with 250+ athletes across cricket, boxing, football and para-sports. India has been taking rapid strides in women’s cricket in recent times. Puma’s determined focus to drive this narrative comes in as a great encouragement for the sport as well as its players, who are passionate and have been working hard to bring laurels for the country at the global stage.