Oklahoma point guard Trae Young was one of college basketball’s biggest stars this past season. He is projected to be a lottery pick in next month’s NBA Draft.
Knowing these facts, what show company do you expect Young to sign with in the pros? Nike? Adidas? Jordan Brand?
How about Puma?
According to a new report from ESPN’s Nick DePaula, the company, which hasn’t sponsored a pro basketball star since Vince Carter two decades ago, is making a major push for Young.
Puma reportedly wants to make the high-scoring guard its “face of basketball.”
A representative from sportswear company Puma was in the room as part of a big-picture pitch: The brand believes so strongly in Young’s star potential that it wants to make him the face of Puma basketball as the company looks to re-enter the basketball sneaker landscape for the first time in nearly two decades.
Young and his parents, Ray and Candice, ultimately passed on Roc Nation – and a PR representative for Roc Nation Sports denies that anyone from Puma was in the room for the meeting. However, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN that Puma was part of the pitch, and that Young, who ultimately signed with Octagon Sports for his representation, is very much still a target for Puma, which is just one of a handful of sneaker brands that considers the former Oklahoma guard the most marketable player in the NBA draft class of 2018.
According to DePaula, Puma would look to augment its signing of Young by signing established NBA players alongside him. This would certainly be a major foray for the company, which is more well-known for casual footwear.
Of course, the heavy hitters are also trying to sign Young, so we’ll see if he ultimately spurns their advances to commit to Puma.