Virat Kohli-owned One8 makes Puma segment leader in India

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Association with One8, the brand run by cricketer Virat Kohli, has contributed a full 10% of Puma India sales for the global sportswear brand from Germany in 2019 fiscal year, helping it clock an overall 23% growth in revenue, and corner the number one slot.

The achievement comes amidst plunging sales across all segments from soaps to biscuits to automobiles, leave alone premium sportswear.

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The achievement is also significant as unlike rivals Nike and Adidas, Puma was a late entrant in the Indian market, beginning operations only in 2006 in the country coupled with the fact that Puma has done such collaboration for the first in the country.

According to the company, Puma’s collaboration with the Indian cricket captain saw a massive rise in sales in FY2019 with sales through One8 accounting for almost 10 per cent of its overall sales, and cementing the leadership position by a wider margin.

With an annual turnover of ₹1,413 crore in fiscal year 2019, Puma has taken a full 14% points lead over the immediate rival Adidas which recorded a revenue of ₹1,250 crore, while the same is almost double that of Nike’s ₹831 crore revenue. Puma’s sales gap with Adidas was just 2.4% in 2018.

“We have cemented our leadership position as the country’s number one sports brand with a revenue growth of 23% at ₹ 1,413 crore in the fiscal year ‘19, in a market where retail spending has been sluggish due to a the general slowdown,” Puma said on Monday last.

It attributed the performance to the better show in tier 2 & 3 markets, while its online sales soared 27%, offline clipped at 15%, and the ‘like to like’ stores sales rose 17 per cent across its 373 outlets, it said, adding overall growth was also boosted by categories like women’s.

“It’s been a great partnering with Puma to launch One8. I’ve had the opportunity to create my own personalised collection in collaboration with Puma and become the first sportsperson to partner with Puma for a product line such as this,” Kohli, who is also the global brand ambassador for Puma told through a statement.

Abhishek Ganguly, managing director of Puma India chipped in saying, “our collaboration with Kohli’s One8 saw an exponential rise in sales in 2019, accounting for almost 10% of our total sales.”

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And the German company expects the good show to continue with its global chief executive Bjorn Gulden expecting a major bump in sales in 2020 with the Olympics and T20 championships around the corner.

“India is a strategic market for us and we are thrilled to see the performance. Being the No 1 brand in India is a reflection of how well we understand our consumers and how pleased they are with our products,” Gulden was quoted in the statement.

Unveiling the global sales numbers last week, Gulden described 2019 as “the best year in Puma’s history” as worldwide revenue surged to 5.5 billion euros, up 18.4 per cent and he highlighted India as a strong driver of growth in Asia.

“Year 2019 has been fantastic for us globally and in India. Our partnership with Kohli has been one of the most successful for us globally. Puma One8 continues to grow steadily,” Ganguly said, adding the tie-up with the cricket captain is the first of its kind for Puma in the country where they have also created a complete line with him.

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