Puma has signed a long-term partnership with top 2020 NBA prospect LaMelo Ball, who will serve as an ambassador for the brand both on and off the court. Ball, 19, was born in California and played professionally for the Illawarra Hawks in the Australian National Basketball League. He has also played professionally for Lithuania’s Prienai team. The point guard is expected to be among the top three picks in this year’s NBA draft.
“LaMelo’s physical gifts and dynamic play on the court, as well as his unique sense of personal style, make him a natural fit for Puma,” said Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing for the brand. “We are thrilled to add him to our roster of talented athletes and at just 19 years old, we can’t wait to see his impact on the broader culture surrounding basketball.”
The partnership will include product as well: a Puma x LaMelo Ball T-shirt and hoodie will be released on Nov. 18, the day of the NBA draft.
“I am really excited to be joining the Puma family,” Ball said. “I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because Puma will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100 percent authentic whether that’s playing basketball or showing off my personal style and that’s what I want to do with Puma.
“I don’t know what normal is. I personally chose a different path to achieve my success because that defines who I am,” he added. “I know some people think I am mysterious or ‘not from here,’ and I might have to agree. I am someone who likes to be different and consider myself to be one-of-one. That’s the message I want to share in my upcoming projects with Puma.”
The ambassadorship will also include Puma and Ball working together on various programs to encourage youth to stay active through basketball skill camps, equipment and clothing donations, court refurbishments and more.
Other Puma sponsored athletes in the basketball arena include DeMarcus Cousins of the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Knox of the New York Knicks and Skylar Diggins-Smith of the Dallas Wings.