Building on more than 70 years of sports innovation and leading design, PUMA is in the very fortunate situation of having an inspiring archive of products. PUMA’s designers can take inspiration from iconic historic styles to mix the past and the present. In 2019, many of our most successful models derived from our history.
As the heir of RS Running System series, which was first introduced some 40 years ago, the RS-X continued to do well in the “Chunky Shoe” segment. In 2019, the RS-X made a bold entry into the market as the RS-X Trophy in black and gold and dropped in several other versions during the year.
In 2019, PUMA also built on its CELL technology platform, which uses hexagonal cells in the heel for superior cushioning and stability. We used CELL in the retro CELL Alien and CELL Endura models, which stayed true to their ancestors from the 80s. We also went one step further by creating new CELL shapes, using the updated LQD CELL technology. LQD CELL is versatile enough to work across a variety of shoe designs and offers stable cushioning as a constant benefit. The first product to use this new technology was the LQD CELL Origin AR sneaker, which came to life with an augmented reality app on mobile phones. LQD CELL technology was deployed throughout the year in several training products.
After returning to basketball last year, PUMA relaunched the “Ralph Sampson” sneaker, named after the legendary basketball star, which was first introduced in the 1980s. This shoe is a new successful addition to our offering and was presented in different colors and styles throughout 2019.
Towards the end of 2019, PUMA revived the RIDER, one of the first jogging shoes. Launched in October as the FAST RIDER OG, our designers reinterpreted the “Federbein” sole, which imitates the shock-absorbing qualities of a car suspension for additional comfort and high rebound. PUMA will continue to add new products to the RIDER franchise in 2020.
The CALI and the NOVA, presented by our brand ambassadors Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne respectively, continued to be our most successful Sportstyle franchises for women. Both ambassadors were deeply involved in the design process and created their own collections. Cara Delevingne teamed up with PUMA and French luxury brand Balmain for a boxing-inspired line of products. Supermodel and women’s training ambassador Adriana Lima also presented a collection aimed at women who want to look their best, even during the toughest workouts. PUMA also teamed up with a selected number of brands and designers, such as Ader Error, Helly Hansen and Les Benjamins to create cool and stylish collections.
Throughout its history, PUMA has catered to the needs of professional athletes. We launched new versions of our PUMA FUTURE football boot in 2019. Made for agile players, the FUTURE allows for sharp turns and complex movements on the football pitch.
Together with Swiss apparel technology group X-Bionic, PUMA launched a collection of thermoregulating running gear, which keeps athletes at an optimal temperature at all times.
We also started a line of products for professional gamers and esports athletes. Together with Dutch gaming accessories maker PLAYSEAT, PUMA launched a gaming seat, which takes gamers away from slouching on the sofa and towards a more active sitting position. The seat was accompanied by the launch of gaming socks, a further example of how our Innovation department is looking for new ways to provide products for this fast-growing market.
Keeping it high-tech, PUMA also launched its first smartwatch in 2019, which should help athletes get the best out of their workouts with a built-in heart rate tracking, GPS and many of their favorite apps.
Research and product development at PUMA mainly comprise the areas of innovation (new technologies), product design and model and collection development. The research and product development activities range from the analysis of scientific studies and customer surveys through the generation of creative ideas to the implementation of innovations in commercial products. The activities in research and product development are directly linked to sourcing activities.
As of December 31, 2019, a total of 999 people were employed in research and development/ product management (previous year: 946). In 2019, research and development/ product management expenses totaled € 114.3 million (previous year: € 97.8 million), of which € 61.7 million (previous year: € 54.0 million) related to research and development.