Kuzma’s deal with Puma is expected to pay out more than $20 million over the life of the contract, and includes additional incentives that could raise the total value of the deal.
Kuzma becomes one of the highest-earning players with Puma and a featured partner with the company.
“The No. 1 thing I was trying to look for was a little bit more control, a little bit more freedom to do certain things. Not to be restricted from an idea standpoint,” Kuzma said. “Having a brand fully commit to me and see that I have visions too — that could work out well for the brand and me as well. Puma was that.”
“The addition of Kyle to our expanding hoops roster is a huge step for our brand,” said Adam Petrick, Puma global director of brand and marketing.
“It kind of just speaks to the day and age we are in,” Kuzma said. “I have the best of both worlds. Pretty talented on the basketball court, but people can really relate to me off the court. From my journey, who I am, and so many different things and the passions that I have — people can relate to it.”
Kuzma landed at Puma after his reps and Nike failed to work out a new contract, and Kuzma and his team were able to ride in the Puma Jet as he traveled back and forth from Los Angeles.
“I don’t think any companies have that,” Kuzma said.
“That was the main thing — the meeting was more about me,” Kuzma said. “It was pretty much, ‘What do you want to do?'”
Kuzma will now have to give up wearing Kobe Bryant’s signature Nike’s, an idol of Kuzma.
“It was tough from the simple fact of how much I love Kobe. Everyone knows that I wear Kobe’s shoes,” Kuzma said. “It was tough, but at the end of the day, I have dreams and goals and I imagine myself being at that type of level in this business.”
Kuzma already has in mind what he wants to do with one of the first themes, pay tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hustle.
“Ever since that moment, trying to carry on that marathon and that type of symbolism, it kind of meant a lot to me,” said Kuzma, who has a “TMC” flag tattoo on his arm. “I wanted to go to Puma, not only for everything that I’ve got going on, but to do some things within this community like Nip did.”
Kuzma is expected to have a lot of creative input as his relationship with Puma moves forward.
“His performance on the court speaks for itself, but his personality and style off the court fits perfectly with our team,” Petrick said. “He is tuned into the culture around the sport, and we’re excited to collaborate with him as we move into the upcoming NBA season.”
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