Puma strengthens basketball presence with WNBA deal

German sportswear manufacturer Puma has entered into a partnership with North America’s Women’s National Basketball Association.

The length of the deal was not disclosed but it began with Saturday’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis. The WNBA said the agreement marks Puma’s first with a professional sports league.

The league-wide deal will focus on footwear, with Puma to be granted the right to use league trademarks and show players in official WNBA gear.

As part of the agreement, Dallas Wings player Skylar Diggins-Smith (left of picture), who played during Saturday’s All-Star Game, will wear Puma footwear for the rest of the season.

The deal marks Puma’s latest move to strengthen its position in the basketball market. In March, the company detailed plans to return to the sport as part of efforts to increase its presence in the US and China.

The company last month appointed rap superstar Jay-Z to the role of creative director for its basketball division. Jay-Z is expected to play a prominent role in terms of Puma’s product development and marketing.