EXCLUSIVE: Puma extends LaLiga ball supply deal for five years

The current LaLiga official match ball supplied by Puma. (David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
The current LaLiga official match ball supplied by Puma. (David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Puma has agreed a five-year extension to its ball supplier agreement with Spain’s LaLiga and LaLiga 2, SportBusiness can exclusively reveal.

The new agreement will run from the start of the 2024-25 season until the end of the 2028-29 campaign and will see the German sports equipment giant continue in the role of Official Technical Partner to the two leagues.

The contract includes the provision of official match balls, equipment for the leagues’ academies and grassroots programmes in Spain and overseas, as well as clothing for league ambassadors.

Puma first began working with the league from the start of the 2019-20 season, supplanting Nike in the ball supplier role.

The US sportswear brand had provided the official match ball for the league for 23 years, but LaLiga was reported to have grown frustrated with the firm for supplying a ball that was very similar to the one in the English Premier League and Italy’s Serie A. LaLiga president Javier Tabas is thought at the time to have wanted a ball that was globally recognisable and exclusive to the Spanish league.

One well-placed source told SportBusiness that this year the firm succeeded in selling more LaLiga-branded balls internationally than it had in Spain for the first time during the relationship.

Puma has adopted an aggressive ball supplier acquisition strategy recently, acquiring the Official Technical Partner rights for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in early October.

The deal, which started this month, includes the provision of the official match ball, referee kits and promotional rights inside and outside of host venues at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which takes place between January and February next year. The brand took over from Umbro, which held the equivalent rights for both the 2019 and 2021 tournaments.

Puma is also the official match ball provider for Serie A in a deal that started during the 2022-23 season and this year became the new official match ball provider to the Scottish Professional Football League and the Scottish Women’s Premier League from the 2023-24 season.

In addition, Puma holds the official match ball supplier rights for the English Football League, which represents the three tiers of professional football below the Premier League. The latter deal began in the 2021-22 season and was extended to the end of the 2026-27 season in September.

In June, the brand also agreed a long-term deal to become the new official ball supplier to Liga Portugal, from the 2023-24 season. A report in The Athletic this July indicated that Puma was set to take over from Nike as the Premier League’s official match ball supplier after the 2024-25 campaign, although a deal has yet to be officially announced.

In a recent call with analysts following the firm’s fiscal 2023 interim results, Puma chief executive Arne Freundt said that Puma had also grown its share of the football boot market. Six years ago, the firm held a mid-single [digit percentage] market share in Europe, but he said: “We are now trending somewhere around 16 to 18 per cent of market share. And that was a market which was dominated only by two brands [Nike and Adidas].”